Iron ore mining magnate Gina Rinehart has urged the Australian Government to stop holding back industry growth and to cut green and red tapes to facilitate future investment.
Rinehart addressed Australia’s leaders during the National Mining and Related Industries Day’s Mates for Mining morning tea, reflecting on mining’s significant contribution to the nation’s economy.
However, she advised that the industry cannot sit on its laurels, stating that the day is a time to remind the nation that the industry is necessary to maintain living standards of all Australians.
“Please don’t forget it was only a few years ago that our industry was faced with both mineral resource rent and carbon tax, a double whammy which would have deprived our industry of the profits needed for investment and for extending our mines and/or building new mines, indeed would have devastated many in the industry,” Rinehart said.
Despite these challenges, Rinehart has led Roy Hill Holdings majority owner Hancock Prospecting to $4.1 billion in net profit after tax during the 2020 financial year, representing a 50 per cent plus increase to bottom line profitability.
Hancock has also drilled 95,000 metres at the Mulga Downs project, expanding the iron ore resource by 290 million tonnes, securing the company’s future success in producing and exporting Western Australian iron ore.
To secure this growth opportunity, Rinehart said it is necessary for the Australian Government to make the difficult decisions to cut costs and tape to increase investor appeal.
“We cannot look to our government to ensure to future of the industry. The government might mention the word investment but fail year after year to take hard decisions to cutting taxes, to make Australia, our very high-cost country more appealing for investments,” she said.
“Never lose an opportunity to encourage the government to mak the tough decisions and certainly never let the government think it can buy our votes with any form of hand outs, i.e., our tax dollars. We want them to act more responsibly in our industry’s best interests.
“Living in constantly changing times, the best protection for the industry is the ability to be flexible and not be constrained by tape, keeping costs down so we can be internationally cost competitive despite natural challenges.”
Rinehart also acknowledged the hard work of the Australian mining industry, in particular Hancock’s fly-in, fly-out workers, who made personal sacrifices to support their company and industry during the coronavirus pandemic.