Friday, 16 February 2024

Today, the Government has finally accepted the Coalition’s advice to include nickel in the critical minerals list.

Senator Susan McDonald, Shadow Minister for Resources, has highlighted that despite calling for nickel to be included in the Critical Minerals List in June last year, it has taken Labor an unfolding crisis to act.

Senator McDonald said that “It is welcome to see nickel finally included on the Critical Minerals List, however the reactive rather than proactive approach from this Government is disappointing.

“In Senate Estimates last night, the Department would not concede that the List was outdated already, yet today’s announcement confirms that Labor is now scrambling for solutions.

“Because nickel was kept off the critical minerals list for so long, nickel projects have been unable to access any of the support offered by the Critical Minerals Office or the Government.

“Whilst this announcement now opens the door to support for the industry, it may be too little too late for the thousands of Australian workers at risk of losing their jobs thanks to the inaction from Labor.

“Will the Government drag its feet again waiting for the next mineral commodity crisis before moving them from the strategic materials list, which appears to just be a facade, and instead give these critical minerals the real support they need now?

“It is time this Government started thinking about the long-term future of mining and critical minerals, rather than seeing them solely as inputs for renewables that will mine themselves.”