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ANDREW HUTCHINSON

General Manager

Critical Minerals Facilitation Office, Australia

Since joining the Critical Minerals Facilitation Office in February I have been privileged to meet many of the businesses, international partners and stakeholders active in the critical minerals space. For those I have not yet had the opportunity to meet, I’d like to introduce myself and give you an overview of what I see as the priorities for this office over the next year.

For the past 20 years I’ve primarily worked in and around energy, climate and environmental policy issues. I have linked in to the critical minerals agenda on many occasions, for example through clean technology supply chains, environmental approvals, or the need for affordable, reliable power at remote mining sites, however focussing solely on supporting this sector to grow will be a new challenge for me – and one I am eager to grapple with.

I bring a diverse perspective to this role, having worked for a major Australian engineering and services firm, federal and state governments, and with not-for-profit organisations. I’ve been privileged to spend many years living and working in rural and remote areas (including as a park ranger) and with Indigenous communities, and I come to this office fresh from a couple of years working as a political adviser. I like to think this eclectic background helps me to understand where people are coming from, inject practicality into the task at hand and focus squarely on outcomes.

As the Government moves into the third year of this term, outcomes are the only currency that counts. In my short time in the CMFO I’ve been impressed with the work done by the team, and I particularly want to thank my predecessor Jess Robinson for her outstanding leadership and energy. With the support of the business and research communities they have established the foundation for the year ahead, which will focus on working across government and industry to:  

  • Address financing and project implementation bottlenecks.

  • Bring forward initiatives to help industry reduce the cost of business, including technological solutions and collaboration with the states and territories.

  • Support Australian firms to secure offtake agreements and investment through strategic partnerships with key like-minded countries.

 

The  goals are clear: to grow the critical minerals sector, to capture more value by helping firms move into downstream processing and manufacturing, and to cement Australia within diversified international supply chains