The Productivity Commission has announced it will conduct a new inquiry into regulatory barriers faced by mineral and resource exploration companies.


Federal Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson, announced the Federal Government had launched the Non-Financial Barriers to Mineral and Energy Resource Exploration inquiry.



Minister Ferguson said the Inquiry will outline reform options to address barriers to exploration for mineral and energy resources in Australia.


“The Inquiry will examine exploration approvals systems and processes, within and across jurisdictions, to assess their effectiveness and efficiency,” Minister Ferguson said.


The Inquiry will assess duplication across state, territory and Commonwealth regulation, costs associated with government processes and broader economic costs.


The inquiry will cover the following:

  • determine if there is evidence of unnecessary regulatory burden and if there is, make recommendations on how to reduce or eliminate these burdens
  • examine the complexity and time frames of government approvals processes for exploration, and potential for delay due to appeals both within and across jurisdictions
  • examine areas of duplication between and within Local, State, Territory and Commonwealth regulation that can be triggered throughout an exploration project
  • examine costs of non-financial barriers (including regulatory and related costs)
  • consider options to improve the regulatory environment for exploration activities, having regard to regulatory objectives
  • assess the impact of non-financial barriers on international competitiveness and economic performance of Australia’s exploration sector.