Rinehart warns of “excessive” regulation

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Billionaire iron ore heiress Gina Rinehart used her address to the Commonwealth Business Forum in Perth yesterday to warn of the dangers of excessive regulation and skills shortages.

Rinehart told the forum while Australia was in a strong position it needed to act decisively to address current problems in the industry.

She said if it did not emerging economies such as Africa would steal some of Australia’s resource market share.

“You’ve got to remember we’re not the only people with commodities,” she said.

“There are new frontiers opening up which have much much lower costs than Australia, so it’s not really a good time to keep looking at ways to make costs higher and higher.”

Rinehart flagged “excessive” taxation and regulation has key problems hampering growth.

She claimed the development of her Pilbara Roy Hill iron ore project involved applications for 3100 permits.

“It could have been more, that’s what we’ve identified to date,” she said.

The mining billionaire said the cost and burden of this regulation was hampering exploration, which was important for future expansions and new operations.

She also said there were estimates of a shortage of 150,000 job positions in WA’s north by 2015.

Rinehart said it had been “very, very difficult” to find workers for mining projects.

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