Budget ignores exploration, Haase

Exploration is the biggest loser in the recent Federal Budget.

The Federal Government will not give additional funding to Geoscience Australia this year which could affect the amount of exploration in Australia, the shadow parliamentary secretary for Energy and Resources and Federal Member for Kalgoorlie Barry Haase told MINING DAILY.

According to Haase, Geoscience Australia missed out on an additional $10 million in funding in this year’s Federal Budget.

“With $10 million less in their pocket Geoscience Australia are certainly not going to be equipped to complete the same amount of research let alone more,” he said.

“The Government’s underlying philosophy is that there will be resurgence in mining and exploration by 2011. But if they don’t support these types of foundations, then they are not doing anything to encourage and foster growth and improvement in that sector.”

“I think Swan knows the mining industry was the salvation of this country during the last decade, and he believes the industry can, without any impetus, save Australia again.”

Geoscience Australia is a prescribed agency within the Resources, Energy and Tourism portfolio of Minister Martin Ferguson.

The foundation looks at key issues such as the global attractiveness of Australia’s offshore and onshore exploration, improved resource management and environmental protection.

“We need foundations like these to stop the downwards spiral we are currently facing,” Haase said.

“This budget does nothing to stop the exploration industry continuing on it’s downwards trend.

“A conservative estimate of the time it takes to develop a mine from discovery to productivity is 25 years. That is scary when you look at the resources that are in the process of being developed. We need another Olympic Dam or Golden Mile quick smart if Australia is to ever to meet the Federal Government’s unrealistic yearly growth estimate of 4.5%.”

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