Article – Australian jobs at risk: Rinehart

by 15 September 2014

12 September 2014
Kirstie Batten
Mining News

HANCOCK Prospecting and Roy Hill chairman Gina Rinehart has warned that Africa is becoming more competitive than Australia and she is urging the government to act.

Gina Rinehart In the wake of a slump in the iron ore price, Rinehart called for the Australian government to address “bureaucratic burdens”.

“Falling commodity prices are not only forecast to continue, which will affect projects in Australia, jobs and revenue – but the government also needs to recognise the extra pressure new projects in low-cost Africa will bring should minerals from Guinea and or other African countries be exported as planned,” she said.

“As I’ve said many times before, the world is not going to buy our commodities if they cost more just because they like Australians – and we need to recognise this.”

Rinehart said the additional costs imposed by governments added pressure and risk for struggling companies and projects and threatened further investment.

“Australian mining is up against international competitors that don’t have the same environment of heavy government-imposed red tape, approvals and compliance costs and each one of these adds costs and makes it harder to compete successfully, risking Australian jobs and revenue,” she said.

“The government needs to better recognise this and world conditions, including various falling commodity prices and the contraction in jobs in Australia’s mining and related industries, and urgently cut bureaucratic burdens.”

Hancock’s 70%-owned $A10 billion Roy Hill iron ore project is Australia’s largest mainland construction project with 7200 people working on it.

Rinehart said the project would create jobs and export revenue for a generation.

“Our wonderful country needs mining exports to bring in much-needed revenue,” she said.

“Projects like Roy Hill create jobs and generate tax income, which Australia desperately needs, to find its way out of our record debt.”

Yesterday at a Perth breakfast, Roy Hill CEO Barry Fitzgerald praised Rinehart as being a strong and supportive driver of the project.

“I actually enjoy working for the chairman enormously,” he said.

The Roy Hill development comprises a 55 million tonne per annum iron ore mine and processing plant, 344km heavy-haul railway and stockyards and berth facilities in the Pilbara region.

The project is more than 50% complete and targeting first ore on ship in September next year, though Rinehart says the development is tracking ahead of schedule.

Courtesy of Mining News

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