Prime Minister Scott Morrison has decried anti-mining advocates in a speech to the Minerals Council in Canberra.
Speaking on Wednesday, Morrison said he wanted the mining industry to succeed in spite of the “noisy voices” that want to shut it down.
“We want you to succeed, I want you to succeed, because a stronger mining industry means a stronger Australia, and a weaker mining industry means a weaker Australia,” he told the audience.
The speech came a day before Resources Minister Matt Canavan spoke at the Minerals Week seminar about the Australian Government’s launch of the first national resources statement in over 20 years, designed to deliver the “world’s most advanced, innovative and successful resources sector that delivers sustained prosperity and social development for all Australians”.
The 53-page statement, which builds on last year’s Resources 2030 Taskforce Report, focuses on five goals for the resources sector to achieve.
Canavan said the statement was the result of over a year of consultation.
The statement is underpinned by a series of policy principles, such as having resources development contribute to revenues and provide jobs for regional communities (“remote Australia”) and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and embracing data innovation to align “government and industry with the longer-term national interests needed for sustainable greenfield exploration programs”.
Canavan also said that more should be done to highlight Australia’s resources expertise overseas.
The Resources Minister also spoke in a radio interview with Chris Smith of Sydney station 2GB yesterday to discuss the government-funded Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) and its part in the New South Wales Government’s refusal of Gloucester Resources’ Rocky Hill thermal coal mine development, calling EDO an “anti-development organisation”.
“What I object to is that they’re being weaponised by taxpayers funds, your listeners’ funds — they don’t represent the community’s views,” Canavan told Smith.
“No one’s arguing that organisations like EDO or Greenpeace or the Australian Conservation Foundation shouldn’t have the right to express their views — they’re welcome to do that through the normal democratic process.
“The issue is, should governments favour some kinds of political activities rather than others?”