Following some key conversations at Science meets Parliament last year (2017), the Managing Director of gemaker, Natalie Chapman, was better able to engage and work with MPs to improve funding access for small Australian mining and exploration companies.
Australian company Alkane Resources was seeking Government export investment for the $1b state-significant Dubbo Project which will provide new age metals for vital modern technology including electric cars and wind turbines.
Australia’s export credit agency, Efic – which can finance projects such as this – was constrained by its mandate, which prevented Australian junior miners and explorers from accessing vital support.
Following day one of Science meets Parliament; Natalie said she had gained deeper insights into how to better grow and leverage wider support for policy change.
“I picked up some useful connections and tips on how to tailor my message based on the Parliamentarians’ drivers and the timing of parliamentary processes” said Natalie.
“I was also able to share learnings from my own work by engaging in useful discussions with Members of Parliament who wanted to know why research commercialisation wasn’t working as well as it could be in Australia.”
Meetings were held with the local member for Parkes, Mark Coulton MP, the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo MP and the NSW Department of Industry and Department of Resources and Energy to outline the issues for small mining and exploration companies.
In September 2017, the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo MP announced the funding obstacle for these Australian companies was removed.
With the mandate amended, Alkane Resources is now eligible to apply for funding for the Dubbo Project which will create hundreds of jobs in rural NSW and hundreds of millions of dollars in export revenue.
Science meets Parliament is held annually in Canberra and all STA members are invited to select delegates to attend. Find out how you can be involved in the next SmP.