‘Schizoid’ government scaring off investors

Mining company Tasmania Magnesite has accused the government of stifling investment opportunities in the state.

The company’s general manager Alan Daley points to environmental protests and the sovereign risk posed by the minority government as making it harder to develop new mines in Tasmania.

Tasmania Magnesite, owned by the British company Beacon Hill Resources, is planning to spend $150 million on a mine south of the Arthur River.

Daley has slammed both the state and federal government, saying that they are making investors weary.

"With the schizoid government that we have at the state level and at the federal level, people are looking with somewhat jaundiced eyes at both Australia and Tasmania, particularly in the mining area," he told ABC.

"That's sad and I think that could change but it's one of those judgements that investors have to make when they're looking."

With concerns the minority government is stifling investment, the State Opposition plans to meet mining companies next week to discuss the issue.

Liberal leader Will Hodgman has criticised the Greens saying ‘they make it impossible for anybody who wants to look at Tasmania as in investment destination because they change the rules to suit their own political agenda.’
"Tasmanians are more interested in jobs, investment, security for families,” he added.

However, Greens MP Paul O’Halloran says the Liberal approach is creating conflict.

"If they want to promote a "dig it up, chop it down" mentality, which seems to be the approach that they've taken for the last 30 or 40 years, it leaves us very vulnerable to commodity prices; for example a higher Australian dollar and our distance from market."

The debate comes after a report released earlier this month found that the Australian mining sector had become more complicated and risky than lower-cost areas like Indonesia and South Africa.

The report found that 61% of those surveyed believed there is too much government involvement in the mining industry.

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