Australia will lose out to international competititors if the governments fail to set nationally coherent and stable policy, according to a new report.
National Energy Resources Australia (NERA) today released its Sector Competitiveness Plan – a 10-year roadmap for the future of the industry.
Releasing the report, NERA chief executive Miranda Taylor said the country and industry needed to think outside the box to achieve generational, transformational change.
If it did not do this, Australia would fail to realise the substantial social and economic benefits from the huge investment in resource projects over the last decade.
Ms Taylor said export opportunities would also be lost if industry leaders, researchers, SMEs and governments did not reset their thinking and find new connections and new business models, as would opportunities to commercialise new home grown technologies.
She said the report aimed to assist local industry do two things: transition from a decade of massive project construction and expansion activity to operating and maintaining those resource projects; and to address the perfect storm of challenge facing the industry today from increasing global competition, volatile commodity prices, a changing energy market and pace of technology.
“After decades of sustained economic growth, Australia is now experiencing a serious decline in productivity while technological change and disruption is accelerating,” Ms Taylor said.
“As a country, we cannot keep doing what we have always done or we will stagnate – we need to urgently find different ways to do things.
“The local energy resources marketplace is far too small for us to be internally focused.
“We must create global connections and access the global marketplace if Australia is to be competitive and productive.”
Ms Taylor said the Sector Competitiveness Plan showed new business models were needed, based on collaboration and innovation so the sector could facilitate the commercialisation of disruptive technologies and rapidly adopt them, and secure a sustainable and competitive future.
“Whilst Australian research is recognised as world-class, our small marketplace, poor industry-research linkages and reluctance to be early adopters of new technology has driven many Australian entrepreneurs and innovators to move overseas to commercialise their ideas, with little or no benefits flowing back to Australia,” Ms Taylor said.
“Today, the very technology that is being used to disrupt markets, such as Uber and Airbnb, is also creating new pathways and platforms for Australian industry and innovators to connect into a global marketplace.
“It will also allow advanced technology such as 3D printing, machine learning and automation to be developed and commercialised here in Australia, creating local jobs and exports.”