Mining’s iron lady Gina Rinehart has condemned the government’s reliance on the mining sector, claiming the industry has been used like “an ATM”.
Rinehart said few Australians "properly understand" that the mining industry isn't a cash-cow, and has called on the resource sector to stand up for themselves.
"The industry needs to keep repeating this and standing up for itself,” she said in a video released ahead of her speech to the Australian Miners and Metals Conference in Melbourne on Friday.
She credited the sector for propping the country up, saying it is the reason Australia has not spiralled into the debt of the same severity as Greece, SMH reported.
“Without mining and its related industry this country has no hope of repaying our record debt,” Rinehart said.
“It needs to keep reminding Australians this – that without mining and its related industries this country has no hope of repaying our record debt without facing the problems Greece and other countries faced with overspending and consequent debt traumas."
In her address Rinehart called for realism saying: "Let's not be too proud to admit that we're really just a large island with a small population with record debt”.
"Plenty of Australians know this in a casual way, but what few seem to properly understand, even people in government, is that mining and other resource industries aren't just ATM's for people to draw from without that money first having to be earned and before that, giant investments made,” Rinehart stated.
According to the Financial Review, Rinehart wants Australia to adopt the economic policies of Singapore, using low taxes to encourage investment and development.
She will also reportedly use her AMMA address today to call for the creation of special economic zones across northern Australia and to give her two cents on comments made by aboriginal leaders who have argued the WA government and Woodside Petroleum are “morally obliged” to support a $1.5 billion compensation package, despite Woodside pulling its $40 billion gas plant near Broome which was the catalyst for the package in the first place.
"Woodside pulled out of its $40 billion gas hub near Broome because rising costs made it economically unviable. I wonder how much of those costs came from green tape, approvals hurdles, endless delays, carbon taxes, and the rest," Rinehart said.