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Rinehart ramps up contribution to mining at Roy Hill

by 17 November 2017

Australian Mining
16 November 2017

By Ben Creagh

Gina Rinehart’s contribution to mining spans decades.

The recipient of the 2017 Prospect Awards BGC Contracting Contribution to Mining award has become one of the most well-known mining identities in Australia for her relentless commitment to growing the industry over this time.

Rinehart, as the chair of Hancock Prospecting, has led the development of major mines around Australia and has helped ensure these operations provide benefits for the country’s economy and the local communities where they are based.

It is a challenge to single out the most significant contribution Rinehart has made to mining, but the progress made at the Roy Hill iron ore operations in Western Australia headline her most recent achievements.

Roy Hill hit a significant milestone this year by reaching its targeted 55 million tonnes per annum monthly rate, making it the fastest iron ore operation to achieve this.

Rinehart explained that Roy Hill, which has been in production since 2015, would also soon celebrate becoming the single largest iron ore mine in Australia.

But as Rinehart told Australian Mining, the significance of the $10 billion operation extends much further than these production milestones, with more than 50,000 people being involved in its development.

“Such highlights have brought benefits to many related industries that depend on mining and has certainly seen benefits during construction and ramp up for the West Australian economy, and will keep delivering benefits for years to come,” Rinehart said.

“It has been a privilege to work on such a mega project and to see it from inception when Hancock found the ore at Roy after another company dropped the tenements, believing of little value, not having located the deposits Hancock’s exploration has.”

Rinehart said Hancock started “very small, with very little money to spend” when exploring in a remote area to find the deposits that now form the Roy Hill operations.

“We studied and progressed towards development despite all the thousands of government approvals, permits and licences and other significant risks and roadblocks placed in front of us, we brought in at the end of the bankable feasibility study, minor partners who are very proud of where our mega project is today,” Rinehart explained.

“We did this maintaining an above Pilbara and above West Australia industry average safety record and female participation rate, we have launched Australia’s first fleet of pink mining trucks, which we believe is also a world first, together with staff fundraising to assist breast cancer.”

Prior to the emergence of Roy Hill, Hancock’s major achievement in the iron ore industry was Hope Downs, which became a joint venture with Rio Tinto last decade.

Hope Downs, which produced its first ore in 2007, also continues to grow as an operation, with the joint venture now developing the site’s fourth mine – Baby Hope.

Rinehart’s focus on developing operations like Roy Hill and Hope Downs is matched by her passion to maintain the global competitiveness of the Australian mining industry.

A notable goal of Rinehart’s is to help ease the regulatory burden that exists around securing approvals for new mining projects and extensions.

Rinehart said Hancock had to secure more than 4000 approvals, permits and licences before construction of Roy Hill could even start.

“Our mining industry cannot operate sustainably if we are not internationally competitive,” Rinehart said. “One area that has not improved and significantly hampers our international competiveness is government red tape and the costs of this and the compliance burden.

“Time-consuming and expensive government regulation and tape, and uncertainty of policies, uncertainties of extra government caused costs, such as whether a carbon tax in some unknown form or some form of emissions tax will be introduced, increasing taxes, such as in West Australia, make it very difficult for mining projects to be financed and to be able to proceed.”

“It’s important and should be a priority that we speak up for our industry and its need to be internationally competitive.”

Rinehart’s extensive contribution to the industry continues.

Rinehart warns of collapse in investment

by 15 November 2017

The Australian Financial Review
14 November 2017

By Brad Thompson 

Gina Rinehart has warned of a collapse in mining and other investment in Australia unless there are fundamental changes to the country’s three-tiered system of government to reduce the burden of bureaucracy.

Australia’s richest woman called for an end to jurisdictional duplication across federal, state and local governments in delivering a bleak assessment of the country’s direction under the current crop of political leaders and bureaucrats.

Signalling her willingness to take a wider leadership role in public debate and policy-making, Mrs Rinehart she found it “difficult to do nothing” even if it made her unpopular in some circles.

Mrs Rinehart opened up about what motivated her to take a public stand in the countdown to National Agriculture Day and National Mining and Related Industries Day, November 21 and 22.

“I find it difficult to do nothing when I see the country I was brought up in, deeply loved by my family before me, heading for unnecessary problems,” she said.

“(Problems) caused by overspending governments, creating record debt, ever-increasing in size and power, governments with ever-increasing government regulations and (red) tape, which are causing poor investment levels in our country today, and which have serious consequences for the future of Australians and our country.

“I know in certain areas this is unpopular, but I hope it tries to explain why I do what I do, irrespective of popularity, but based on very genuine concern.”

Mrs Rinehart said that while multinationals could turn their backs on Australia, it was something she would never do as chairman of Hancock Prospecting and not an option for most working families.

“It’s not easy to uplift jobs and families and start from scratch in other countries if Australia continues its problematic path,” she said.

“I believe the better route is to try to help get our country back on a better, more responsible path where people can confidently believe that the living standards they enjoy can be maintained or rise, that they’ll be industry and businesses able to provide from profits, revenue to pay for our defence, our police, maintaining or improving our infrastructure, providing for our growing proportion of elderly, our hospitals, parks, kindergartens and more.

“Governments need to scrap jurisdictional duplication across federal, state and territory and local governments in all forms of legislation and regulation. This approach includes removing duplication across departments within the same government. This would substantially reduce the amount of red tape business and the community needs to deal with.”

Hancock Prospecting’s torturous path through more than 4000 pieces of red tape in developing the $10 billion Roy Hill iron ore mine in the Pilbara is well documented.

Roy Hill, 70 per cent owned by Hancock Prospecting, recorded a maiden profit of $331 million in 2016-17 and employed close to 1400 people.

It is typical of projects which earn revenue, create jobs and generate taxes that Mrs Rinehart believes are being stymied by governments.

The 63-year-old hit out at government malaise from the perspective of paying more tax than any other Australian. Hancock Prospecting paid almost $700 million in taxes in 2016-17, up from $191 million the previous year. Net profit was $1.07 billion 2016-17, up from $443 million, and revenue increased by 160 per cent to $4.45 billion.

Heartened by widespread support for National Agriculture Day from peak industry groups, farmers, businesses and politicians, Mrs Rinehart appealed for the same level of support for National Mining Day to regain ground with the general public.

“I believe there is a large and growing disconnect between those who know … that mining and related sectors make a huge contribution to our country, and those who do not,” she said.

She said the mining industry had to step up to celebrate the industry and to explain the consequences of diminished investment.

National Mining and Related Industries Day was launched in 2013 and is held on November 22 each year.

A black tie dinner in Sydney will mark the occasion this year, but it hasn’t gained anything like the broad support of the new National Agriculture Day. Hancock Prospecting is a major backer of both events.

The rash of red tape is spreading like a disease

by 10 November 2017

10 November 2017 Daily Telegraph
by David Leyonhjelm

The crippling effects of red tape on the economy are unfortunately not restricted to the NSW housing sector.

As chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Red Tape, I have so far introduced three interim reports — on the sale, supply and taxation of alcohol; the sale and use of ­tobacco and nicotine products; and environmental regulation, sometimes called “green tape”.

Unless you are a smoker or drinker the first two might not be of interest. However, environmental over-regulation should be of vital concern to us all. The actual and opportunity cost runs into many hundreds of millions of dollars in lost or delayed ­investment. And that means a lot of employment opportunities for our fellow Australians.

The origin of the term “red tape” is generally attributed to the 16th-century administrative system of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, which used red tape for priority documents that required immediate action.

Given that red tape has now come to mean pernicious, corrosive and difficult-to-eradicate regulation, it seems highly appropriate that Charles V is today more remembered for his army spreading syphilis across Europe and thence to the rest of the world.

Like its venereal legacy, the red tape legacy of Emperor Charles V continues to be spread through the incautious infatuations of his Australian political successors.

The Institute of Public Affairs calculates that red tape reduces Australia’s economic output by $176 billion each year, equivalent to 11 per cent of GDP. This cost is reflected in businesses that are never started, jobs never created, and the time lost adhering to bureaucratic requirements.

Throughout our inquiry, we heard again and again that environmental red tape has turned many project approval processes into a bureaucratic nightmare. A prime example is the Roy Hill iron ore project in the ­Pilbara that required more than 4000 ­licences and permits for its pre-construction phase, needlessly delaying the project and raising the cost. Likewise, the Carmichael coal mine in central Queensland spent seven years in the approvals process, fighting more than 10 legal challenges and requiring an environmental-impact statement running to 22,000 pages.

We have the means to eradicate some of this green tape scourge from our lives. As we recommended, the federal government could bring forward its review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, avoid duplicating state laws and create a one-stop shop — something the Productivity Commission also supports.

It could start focusing on the risks associated with noncompliance with legal rules, rather than the legal rules themselves, a risk-based approach that the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is already employing with obvious success.

And it could pest-proof section 487 of the EPBC Act that is currently being abused by environmental activists who block projects simply because they can. Since the introduction of the EPBC Act in 2000, the IPA estimates these delays have cost the Australian economy as much as $1.2 billion.

The Red Tape Committee heard countless tales of the adverse effect of native title regulations on project developments, the manipulation of land councils by environmental activists, and the impact of this on the impoverishment of Aboriginal people.

Amending the Aboriginal Land Rights Act to remove the ability of land councils to arbitrarily veto applications for exploration or mining licences would go a long way to assist both Aboriginal development and the economy generally.

To overcome landholder objections to mining that have paralysed the exploitation of minerals and ­energy, the committee suggested the Commonwealth, state and territory governments consider a system of statutory royalties for landowners.

But the Red Tape Committee can only make recommendations. It is time for governments to take the cure for the economy’s own administrative social disease and start beating the clap out of over-regulation. David Leyonhjelm is a Liberal Democrats senator

Roy Hill delivers for Rinehart

by 2 November 2017

2 November 2017
The West Australian

By Stuart McKinnon

Gina Rinehart’s Roy Hill Holdings is celebrating its maiden annual profit, marking the first full year of commercial production from its $US10 billion namesake iron ore project in the Pilbara.

Roy Hill posted a profit of $331 million for the 12 months ending June 30, up from a $34 million loss the previous year.

Bottom line profit was $523 million. It included a $274 million gain on foreign currency hedging, with the company benefiting from a lower Australian dollar over the period. The company recorded sales revenue of $2.3 billion on selling about 33 million tonnes of iron ore for the year. The company had budgeted for 39.5Mt.

Roy Hill’s Australian Securities and Investments Commission filing showed it employed 1394 people and spent $9.3 million on key management remuneration in 2017, down from $12.6 million the previous year.

Roy Hill declined to comment on its financial results yesterday but said it was pleased with its progress as it continued the ramp-up of its project.

The company achieved its targeted run rate capacity of 55mtpa in September.

The milestone put Roy Hill into a 90-day test period after which its lenders and equity partners will declare final completion of the project and higher repayments on Roy Hill’s approximately $7 billion debt pile will kick in. Roy Hill began production in December 2015 and achieved practical completion of the project late last year.

However it was forced to push back the December 2016 target for achieving project design capacity, because of teething problems with its processing plant. Roy Hill’s chief executive Barry Fitzgerald told a mining conference in Melbourne this week that the company would start using driverless trucks at its mine in the second half of next year as it looked to boost efficiencies to exceed its 55mtpa capacity. The company is already pursuing full automation of its drill rigs and the partial automation of its trains as it looks to cut operating costs.

But Mr Fitzgerald said last month the company was already on the lowest-quartile cost curve among its competitors.

Roy Hill is 70 per cent owned by Mrs Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting with Japan’s Marubeni holding 15 per cent, South Korea’s Posco 12.5 per cent and China Steel Corporation 2.5 per cent.

SENATE COMMITTEE REPORT CONFIRMS RED TAPE STRANGLING THE AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY

by 20 October 2017

19 October 2017 Institute of Public Affairs Media Release

Free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs has welcomed the recommendations from the Select Committee on Red Tape interim report: Effect of red tape on environmental assessment and approvals.

“The Senate Committee’s report confirms the economic damage caused by environmental red tape in Australia,” said IPA research fellow Daniel Wild.

“The government should implement the Committee’s recommendations, including abolishing the ‘water trigger’ and ‘uranium actions’ as matters of national environmental significance, repealing section 487 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and re-committing to the One Stop Shop initiative.”

“The report shows that the environmental approvals process is too long and onerous. The Roy Hill iron mine required more than 4,000 licenses, approvals, and permits for the pre-construction phase alone. The Adani Carmichael coalmine spent seven years in the approvals process, fought more than 10 legal challenges, and had to prepare a 22,000-page environmental impact statement.”

The report cites IPA research which has estimated that ‘anti-development activism’ has caused delay and disruption to projects, costing the economy more than $1.2 billion over the past 17 years.

“It is encouraging that the Committee is recommending policies that the IPA has long advocated and provided extensive research on, such as abolishing the water trigger and repealing section 487 of the EPBC Act.”

“It is imperative that the government cut red tape to encourage business investment, which is currently lower as a percentage of GDP than during the Whitlam years. Recent IPA research highlighted that declining business investment is one of the greatest economic challenges Australia faces.”

“The report endorses the IPA’s estimate that red tape reduces economic output by $176 billion each year, which is equivalent to 11 per cent of GDP,” said Mr Wild.

For media and comment: Evan Mulholland, Media and Communications Manager, on

0405 140 780, or at emulholland@ipa.org.au

Gina grows cattle empire

by 17 October 2017

10 October 2017
Northern Territory News

The NT’s largest land owner, Gina Rinehart, has added to her vast empire with the purchase of the 171,000 hectare Willeroo pastoral property 100km west of Katherine.

Willeroo takes the number of Territory cattle stations Ms Rinehart has a stake in to six.

The owner of Hancock Pastoral – and Australia’s richest person, worth an estimated $19.4 billion – Mrs Rinehart has spent more than $200 million on stations in Western Australia’s Kimberley Region and in the Northern Territory.

It is not known what Mrs Rinehart paid for Willeroo, but it was previously on the market for $12 million before being sold by the Sultan of Brunei for an undisclosed sum to Indonesian feedlotting company Great Giant Livestock.

Mrs Rinehart has made no secret of her ambitious expansions plans for her growing cattle empire with the Darwin port to have a key role.

Earlier this year she signed a deal that will see 150,000 head of cattle shipped to China from Darwin.

Mrs Rinehart said the purchase of Willeroo was a strategic investment because of its proximity to Aroona Cattle station, which she purchased in March.

Aroona is on 150,000 hectares and holds 15,000 head of Brahman cattle and Willeroo is directly adjacent and runs 20,000 head.

“We secured Willeroo because we believe we can add improvements and value to the station,” Ms Rinehart said.

“We will copy what we have introduced successfully on our other Hancock stations, and are currently rolling out across Kidman properties.

“Willeroo will well complement our existing investments in the north. It is adjacent to Aroona, which we acquired earlier this year, allowing us to operate the two stations as a combined unit.“Also being near to the Phoenix Park export depot it will assist part of the wet season growing program for Riveren and Inverway as well as help to provide better market timing opportunities for some of Hancock Beef’s Kimberley cattle stations.”

Exports grow as Chevron, Roy Hill ramp-up

by 17 October 2017

16 October 2017

Business News

Western Australia’s 10 biggest exporters shipped $96 billion worth of products overseas over the past year, an increase of almost 10 per cent on the previous corresponding period, according to research by Business News.

Four iron ore miners are ranked in the top 10 biggest exporters list, with exports of the steelmaking commodity totalling about $60 billion between them.

They were led by Rio Tinto, with iron ore sales from its operations of $24.1 billion in calendar year 2016, its most recent full-year reporting period.

That figure includes the equity share of Rio’s joint-venture partners, including Hancock Prospecting.

Rio’s export numbers are bolstered to $24.9 billion when including the Dampier Salt and Argyle Diamond operations, calculations by Business News found.

The state’s second biggest exporter was BHP Billiton.

BHP shipped about $22 billion of iron ore in the latest financial year, an increase of nearly $6 billion on the previous period largely driven by improved iron ore prices.

The figure is for the operation as a whole, and includes both BHP’s equity share and the shares of partners such as Japanese company Mitsui & Co.

Sales from the Nickel West arm of the business were up around $200 million to be $1.3 billion for the year, giving BHP total exports of $23.2 billion.

Fortescue Metals Group was in fourth place, with sales of $11.2 billion, around 15 per cent higher than the previous period, while new entrant Roy Hill Holdings was in eighth position with exports of $3 billion.

Roy Hill, which is 70 per cent owned by Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting, is likely to be hitting an annualised run rate of 55 million tonnes most months by December.

Energy producers are also beginning to stake a claim on the BNiQ Search Engine list, with third placed Woodside Petroleum joined by Chevron Australia following the start-up of the Gorgon project in 2016.

Woodside’s export revenue as the operator of Pluto LNG, North West Shelf Venture and projects under the Australia Oil umbrella was $15.5 billion in calendar 2016, its most recent financial year reporting period.

That was about $3 billion lower than in the previous period, driven largely by lower revenues through the North West Shelf project.

Business News estimates revenue from North West Shelf Venture to have been $9.3 billion, down partly due to reductions in condensate and oil sales, while Pluto sales were roughly stable at $3.4 billion.

Chevron has entered the list in ninth place, with $2.9 billion of revenue from the Gorgon project in the 2017 financial year, according to estimates by consultancy EnergyQuest.

About 6.5mt of LNG was shipped from Gorgon by the US-headquartered company over that 12-month period, EnerqyQuest found.

Data from the state Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety shows a big boost to the state’s LNG exports from the start-up of Gorgon, with a statewide production volume of 28.7mt in the 12 months to June 2017.

The shipments were valued at around $12.7 billion, an increase of about 20 per cent on the previous year, according to that data.

The BNiQ Search Engine number for revenue from the three LNG facilities is higher due to the inclusion of oil, condensate and LPG sales.

With Gorgon’s third and final processing train having begun operation last March, Chevron can be expected to ship close to its capacity of 15.6mtpa in the 2018 financial year, which at current prices would mean revenue of about $7 billion per year.

The recent start of production at the Wheatstone project would provide a further boost for Chevron, with full capacity of about 8.9mtpa.

Both Wheatstone and Gorgon operating at full capacity would mean the two Chevron operations producing exports of at least $10 billion, putting the company into fifth place on the BNiQ Search Engine list, assuming 2017 financial year LNG prices.

Prelude operator Shell will join the list when that project is completed.

The four other businesses rounding out the top 10 will be familiar to readers.

Gold Corporation, the only state-owned entity on the list, exported around $7.9 billion of precious metals in the 2017 financial year, about 9 per cent lower than in the previous period.

Almost all gold mined in WA is processed through the corporation’s refinery.

The two alumina exporters, Alcoa of Australia and Worsley Alumina operator South 32, placed in seventh and 10th respectively, with combined exports of nearly $5 billion.

Grain handling cooperative CBH Group again featured on the list, with forecast exports of $3.1 billion, although that number is not the company’s finalised figure.

The cooperative was the only non-resources player to feature.

Four more iron ore miners hold positions in the group from 10th to 20th, including Citic Pacific Mining.

Business News has calculated a revenue figure of $1.2 billion for the Chinese company’s Sino Iron project using reported tonnage figures and the current market price for iron ore.

That makes the estimate conservative, as magnetite is usually processed to be a higher grade than the hematite exported by other producers.

Iron ore exporter Mineral Resources also features in the top 20, having expanded its ambit to include other commodities such as lithium.

Ramp-up

Speaking at a recent WA Mining Club lunch, Roy Hill chief executive Barry Fitzgerald said the company had hit its capacity 55mtpa run rate in the month of September.

The coming months would bring a reduction from that level, Mr Fitzgerald said, due to planned shutdowns, but he expected the project would be consistently operating at capacity by the end of the year.

Roy Hill had an ambitious ramp up target, he said.

“We set a big, hairy, audacious goal about a very rapid ramp-up,” Mr Fitzgerald told the forum.

“Originally it was going to be 15 months; we didn’t get the plant until February (2016) so we thought we’d leave it at 10 months.

“We didn’t make that.”

The operation ran into issues last November when production plateaued at an annualised run rate of around 35mt.

“The reality was that the orebody had a few more difficulties than we thought; the material was much harder (than anticipated), there were difficulties in blending,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

That led to significant unforeseen wear on equipment.

Mr Fitzgerald said the company changed its approach to mining and materials handling at the site’s three pits.

This contributed to a big improvement in throughput in July 2017, which was nearly 70 per cent higher than in the previous month.

The business has further plans to boost productivity, according to Mr Fitzgerald, including improving train operation efficiency to lift the number of ore moving trips from 5.5 to six per day.

That will be followed by the introduction of cruise control, and potentially, an eventual move to automated trains similar to the system being pursued by Rio Tinto.

Automation is also being introduced in the company’s drilling operations by the second quarter of next year.

Mr Fitzgerald said that could unlock efficiencies by enabling deeper data analysis of orebodies.

 

Speech by Mrs Gina Rinehart to the Pastoralists and Graziers Association of Western Australia (PGA) 2017 Convention

by 28 September 2017

27 September 2017 Hancock Prospecting

Good morning pastoralists and graziers, friends.

Thank you very much for inviting me to speak at your convention, “pathways to prosperity.”

My family has had a very long association with the Pastoralist and Graziers Association, and a long history in the pastoral industry, dating back to the northwest when our family on my father’s side was amongst the first settlers in the second half of the 1800s and its first pastoralists. And on my mother’s side, her father James Nicholas, both separately and including in association with his long term friend and another remarkable Australian, Sir Sydney Kidman, also had a long tradition of pastoral interests.

It is a very special honour for me to now address pastoralists and graziers and the PGA at your convention. Thank you.

To read the full transcript of this speech, please click Speech by Mrs Gina Rinehart to the Pastoralists and Graziers Association of Western Australia (PGA) 2017 Convention

Business delegation to showcase Northern Territory to Canberra decision-makers

by 27 September 2017

11 September 2017 NT News

TAX incentives to encourage populating Northern Australia will be raised by Chief Minister Michael Gunner and a major business delegation in Canberra this week.

Mr Gunner has already raised the issue with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Northern Australia Barnaby Joyce and received support from one key North Queensland Liberal MP, Warren Entsch.

“(There has) been early conversations with the Deputy Prime Minister at how the tax zone rebate works in the north,” Mr Gunner said. “It hasn’t changed or been touched in a very long time.

“How can we structure that in a way that builds our population?”

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd floated the idea of incentives during the 2013 election.

Influential Liberal MP Warren Entsch has swung behind it suggesting his colleagues would support the Territory move if there were certain provisos.

Mr Entsch’s electorate of Leichhardt takes in Cairns and Cape York.

He said the tax zones needed to be redefined so regional communities most in need benefited.

“The first thing is there has to be jobs,” he said. “There is no point creating tax incentives to move if there are no jobs.

“The other thing is that FIFOs shouldn’t be allowed to benefit from it. One of the problems is that because FIFOs were spending so many days in an area they were claiming it.

“I would want to see those who are supposed to benefit from it, benefit.

“If the Chief Minister can put a strong enough case then I am sure he would get support out of Queensland MPs. Cooktown, Rockhampton, Mackay they are all facing this challenge.”

A delegation of 150 Territory business leaders will descend on Parliament House on Wednesday at a function called #FacingNorth.

#FacingNorth is an initiative of a major business advisory group formed to promote investment in the Territory.

Group chairman Ian Kew said the event was about showcasing what the NT is about.

“We want to make sure our profile with Canberra politicians is high,” he said. “Half of them haven’t been to the NT and we want to show them the opportunities that exist in the NT.”

Mr Kew said business was taking the opportunity to have one-on-one meetings with Parliamentarians.

The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will attend along with the Outback Wrangler Matt Wright. Arnhem Land singer Yirrmal Marika will perform.

The bipartisan Parliament House event has been co-sponsored by NT Senator Nigel Scullion and Solomon MP Luke Gosling. All federal politicians have been invited.

More than 300 guests will feast on Territory delicacies including crocodile and pearl meat, and barramundi washed down with a Green Ant Gin cocktail or a non-alcoholic Kakadu plum and Dragonfruit Spritzer.

Six Indigenous trainees under the guidance of Karen Sheldon will prepare and serve the food in Parliament House kitchens.

The estimated $80,000 cost of the two-hour event has been split between the NT Government and the business group.

National AgDay a celebration for all Aussies

by 27 September 2017

7th September 2017 The Land

FARMERS make a massive contribution to Australia’s society and economy and it is time to celebrate the sector’s vital significance to the country.

That is the motivation behind a new national initiative, National Agriculture and Related Industry Day.

The event is the brainchild of Kidman and Co. co-owner Gina Rinehart. Now the National Farmers Federation will take the lead in running AgDay, supported by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and a host of farm industry groups.

Agriculture generates $60 billion of on-farm production, feeds 61 million people globally, is our second largest export industry and drives local economies across the country, employing more than 1.5 million workers.

“This is a day for people who grow food, eat food and move food,” said Liverpool Plains farmer and NFF president Fiona Simson.

AgDay organisers want to light a fire in backyard barbecues and get prime produce sizzling in the city and country.

“Why not host a lunch with all Aussie-produce making up the menu, fire up a community barbecue and raise money for a good cause or simply share a pic of fabulous food or fibre on your social media networks,” Ms Simson said.

“All Australians can feel a sense of pride in our nation’s contribution to feeding and clothing the world,” said Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said.

AgDay will be held on November 21. A website has a bunch of handy tips on getting involved, and a social media campaign sports the hashtag #AgDay.

Visit www.agday.org.au