Article – Rinehart warns of resource pressure

20 April 2016
Ashley Manicaros
Northern Territory News

THE extent of commodity price falls was not predicted despite it being part of a regular cycle in the Australian resources sector and a turnaround was even harder to predict, according to mining magnate Gina Rinehart.

The chairwoman of Hancock Prospecting, and Australia’s richest person, who was in the Territory to address an invitation-only investment forum on Monday, said in responses to Business Week queries any turnaround would be driven by the world’s growing population.

“The world population of 7.3 billion is estimated to rise to over 9 billion by 2050. In addition, the living standards of our Asian neighbours are rising, requiring more resources in future years,” she wrote.

“These two billion people will require buildings, food, clothing and transport, all requiring resources.

“The production of resources will have to be increased to meet this growing demand. So goes the resource cycle.” She added: “The timing of the turnaround is difficult to predict. Nobody predicted the extent of the commodity price fall.”

During her address Monday Mrs Rinehart said the resources sector may be in a low point but these cycles have been a “constant in Australia’s past.”

“The raw materials Australia has in abundance will always be critical to world growth. So while conditions may make us cautious we cannot forget their importance to the future,” she said.

Mrs Rinehart, who is an NT business ambassador, believes Australian governments need to act on compliance costs and red tape if they want to avoid more job lay-offs.
“Australian governments need to recognise urgently, the impact of the significance of the commodity price crash, and urgently cut government red tape expense and onerous compliance costs, negatively affecting commodity based export industries and their related industries,” she said. “If the government is serious in not wanting to cause, via inaction, more company closures and job lay-offs, export industries from high cost Australia have to compete internationally for their markets, it’s not a matter of just increasing their prices, if this occurred, their international markets will be reduced or lost. And our governments need to recognise this and urgently cut red tape and the expense of government burdens.”

In front of a 100 potential investors Mrs Rinehart described the Territory as “one of the world’s last great development opportunities of scale”.

Forbes estimates Mrs Rinehart’s worth to be more than US$10.5 billion.

Courtesy of Northern Territory News

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