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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 4655

LOCAL PROCESSING OF NATURAL RESOURCES, 21 MARCH 1978

Photo of Fraser, Malcolm

Fraser, Malcolm

Period of Service: 11/11/1975 to 11/03/1983

More information about Fraser, Malcolm on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 21/03/1978

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 4655

CABINET
FOR PRESS 21 March 1978
LOCAL PROCESSING OF NATURAL RESOURCES
The Prime minister has written to all State Premiers seeking
their cooperation in the Commonwealth's policy objective of
encouraging further industrial development in Australia through
the local processing of natural resources.
The Government believes that the domestic processing of
resources will occupy a prominent place in Australia's industrial
future and manufacturing industry development with immediate
interest being centred around the processing of minerals and
energy resources.
Australia is favourably placed for additional mineral processing.
It has the necessary resources of minerals and energy, the
economy is on its way back, and price stability is within our
grasp. We have a skilled workforce and a first class record
as a reliable supplier of raw materials and semi-processed
products. It is important, however, to develop a suitable policy framework
as early as possible to both guide and encourage industry
looKing at future processing prospects and to facilitate
desirable forms of development.
Increased domestic processing of minerals would give rise to
many benefits, including, a more integrated mining and manufacturing
structure, external economies and marketing advantages to
industry, increased foreign exchange earnings and additional
and more diversified employment opportunities for a workforce
possessing increasingly sophisticated skills.
The Government has no wish to disturb existing commodity flows
and its main attention will be given to the promotion of
Australia's prospects for sharing in the future growth in
demand for processed mineral products as well as taking up any
opportunities offered when existing plants need to be replaced
by new plants.
In view of the responsibilities of State Governments in matters
relating to processing, there would be merit in establishment
of arrangements for close and continuous inter-governmental
consultation in this area so that as far as possible the policies
and initiatives of the respective Governments complement and
support each other. ./ 2

2.
To this end the States have been asked to agree to the
establishment of a Standing Joint Study Group of the Australian
Minerals and Energy Council and the Commonwealth/ State Industry
Ministers' Conference. Initial discussions took place at
recent meetings of both these bodies.
In addition the Australian Manufacturing Council has agreed
to establish a Study Group to further examine the issues
involved.

Transcript 4655