The most successful woman in Australia from a business sense has spoken about the importance of International Women’s Day and revealed key issues she plans to discuss with federal leaders of both major parties ahead of this year’s election. Interview by Liam Bartlett.
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BHP has been trialling direct shipping to Port Hedland since 2020 and will now ship 7.5 per cent of the containerised supplies it receives into its Western Australian Iron Ore (WAIO) operations from all over the world through Singapore, directly to Port Hedland. “This initiative not only improves efficiency, it also improves safety and environmental outcomes, thereby benefiting the whole community,” Dunham said.“PPA is proud of the work it has done to make direct shipping possible and has already trebled its first port of entry facilities to accommodate growing demand,” Johnston said. “The service is generating more inbound and outbound freight opportunities, which in turn creates local opportunities for container de-stuffing, warehousing, and distribution.
Australian resources export revenue reached a new record high of $351 billion in 2021, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Iron ore was the highest contributing resource with $154.2 billion, up 32 per cent from 2020 to set its own record high. Minerals Council of Australia chief executive officer Tania Constable said the record growth demonstrates the importance of the mining industry to Australia’s economy.
“This incredible growth in revenue has also delivered Australia its largest ever trade surplus ($123 billion) during the COVID-19 pandemic, at a time when it needed economic stimulus the most,” Constable said. “Ongoing demand for resources is driving the 258,000 direct mining jobs, with significant benefits flowing to all of Australia and particularly regional communities.
Hancock is one of the biggest taxpayers in Australia and has weathered the Covid pandemic. Its company profit for the year to June came after revenue for Mrs Rinehart’s Hancock rose to a record $16.6bn from $10.5bn a year earlier and the business paid a huge $2.7bn in federal corporate and state taxes. Last year was also a significant one away from mining for Mrs Rinehart, who watched strong performances by athletes in the four sports she backs at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Swimmers, rowers, beach volleyball players and artistic swimming representatives all receive direct support from Mrs Rinehart, as part of charitable and sponsorship pursuits the billionaire undertakes that also includes helping Cambodian girls out of poverty. All of the support has been recognised in this year’s Australia Day honours, with Mrs Rinehart gaining the title of Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to the mining sector, to the community through philanthropic initiatives, and to sport as a patron.
The mining magnate is one of just 25 people in the country to be appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in the general division. According to her citation, she has been recognised for “distinguished service to the mining sector, to the community through philanthropic initiatives and to sport as a patron”.
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Policymakers looking to retraining programs and skilled migrants to fill skill shortages as the economy roars back from the pandemic should not overlook a potentially rich source of experienced and often highly skilled workers – retirees. Many retirees would be happy to work for a few extra years, at least part time, to postpone dipping into their superannuation nest eggs, during which time of course they also would be paying income tax. More important, they would be contributing to an economy in which nine in 10 jobseekers unfortunately lack the requisite training needed for the vast majority of available roles, according to new analysis by the federal Department of Education, Skills and Employment.
“If the government exempted work income from the income test for those with limited savings it would boost their income and savings in retirement, and boost the productivity of the nation,” Mr Henschke said. “We will nudge millions of Australians into, not out of, work.” The idea has support from business groups and figures. Mining magnate Gina Rinehart said the change would help ease the nation’s skills crisis. “We are a supporter of the government changing its policy where pension arrangements are concerned, so that pensioners can work should they so choose, without onerous tax resulting from their decision to work,” Ms Rinehart said.
Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt said that the resources sector once again has been shown to be the bedrock of the Australian economy and would strongly support the nation’s future growth. “The resources sector has risen above the challenges of the pandemic and will continue to deliver for our nation in the years ahead,” Minister Pitt said. “In 2020–21 our resources and energy earnings passed $300 billion for the first time, reaching $310 billion, and are now forecast to top that by $69 billion in 2021–22. “These are outstanding results that will provide further jobs and opportunities in our regions and benefit all Australians.