Article – Other countries won’t offer EMA’s –

GINA Rinehart believes other resource-rich countries would never offer the same skilled migration agreements to Australians recently granted for her $9.5 billion Roy Hill project.

Roy Hill was the first company to be granted an enterprise migration agreement (EMA) to import 1715 foreign workers if needed.

Last night, Ms Rinehart warned delegates at the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies gala dinner they must stand up for the industry or watch exploration and investment go offshore.

“We have never faced before the competitive risk we now face from lower cost countries with vast resources,” she said.

“We cannot afford to ignore that they have vast resources.

“Will these lower cost countries pay West Australia royalties?  Of course not.

“Will these countries offer EMA’s for our unskilled or semi-skilled to find work off shore?  No.

“Will they help our Aborigines with payments and benefits and opportunities?  No.

“Will they provide work for our local industries supporting our mining industry?  Not to the extent of now, if future mines and infrastructure are instead located offshore

The mining magnate, whose wealth has plummeted over the last few months as the iron ore price dropped below $90 a tonne, said new policies needed to be introduced to make investment in projects and exploration “welcome”.

She said the industry needed leaders who were willing to be unpopular in their fight change.

“We need people, and we have some who are prepared to be unpopular, or very unpopular, in some areas of our media,” she said.

Ms Rinehart announced she was funding a Hancock Prospecting Award for “brave souls” ready to stand up for the industry.

The winner will get a $50,000 prize.