South Australia missing the main game, miners claim

Great commitment to the mining industry is needed from the South Australian Government SACOME has claimed

The current state of South Australia’s mining future are not at levels that will allow it to ride the resurgence in mining, the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy (SACOME) has claimed.

Responding to a number of policy announcements from both the State Labor and Liberal parties in the lead up to the election on 20 March, SACOME described the parties’ commitments to mining as “missing the main game.”

While the industry is positive on the back of the strategy to extend the Plans for Accelerating Exploration (PACE), it stated that there needs to be a minimum of $650 million invested in South Australia’s mining and exploration sector, particularly in the form of infrastructure, over the next five years.

“It is access to broader electricity grid networks, water, rail, road and port facilities that this sector needs,” SACOME chief executive Jason Kuchel said.

“The number one ticket item is a cape sized capable bulk commodities facility at Port Bonython,” Kuchel added.

This high level of commitment would allow the State to capitalise on the daily increasing demand for minerals and commodities, SACOME said.

In the run up to the election, the Liberals have stated that they will match Labor initiatives but only if forward estimates on infrastructure costs are provided.

However, Labor has not considered matching the Liberal party’s consideration to underwrite tonnages for a cape sized capable bulk commodities facility.

In addition to the forecast $650 million needed, a further $100 million a year will be needed to initiate vital infrastructure project to generate greater mining activity.

SACOME has claimed that in addition to the need for a deep water port at Bonython, the State Government should fund the PACE program for a further five years after 2011 at $7 million per year.

It also believed the South Australian Government should oppose the recommendations of the Henry Tax Review, to “avoid the danger of double dipping by both the State and Federal Governments.”

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