South Australia Shadow Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy Martin Hamilton-Smith
Labor’s Mineral Exploration Crash Confirmed
Victor P Taffa
New ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) data released today has confirmed that high taxes and capital costs and low productivity under Labor have minerals exploration investment in free fall.
“Since Labor’s Mineral Resources Rent Tax (MRRT) was introduced in July 2012 exploration for mineral resources in SA has shrunk from $90 Million to $38 Million, a staggering decline of 58 %.” Shadow Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy Martin Hamilton-Smith said.
“Ahead of the introduction of the MRRT, iron ore exploration saw $27 Million invested in SA in June 2012. Within nine months this has slumped to $9 Million, a 67 %.”
“In July 2012, $43 Million was spent in SA on copper exploration, but following the cancellation of the Olympic Dam expansion, this slumped 67 % to $14 Million in the March quarter.”
“Labor has delivered the highest capital costs for mining projects in the world and low productivity. The results are now in.” Mr. Hamilton-Smith said.
“The Weatherill Labor Government spent 11 years in office over spruiking the Olympic Dam expansion and other mining projects. The facts now show exploration has reversed gear.”
“In February the State Government’s Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy (DMITRE) chief executive, Geoff Knight, said the Mineral Resources Rent Tax had ‘increased our sovereign risk’ and destroyed investor confidence.” Mr. Hamilton-Smith said.
“When asked whether or not he agreed with Mr. Knight’s comments, Minister Koutsantonis responded:
“No I don’t … I do not agree with my Chief Executive, I think he was mistaken to say that…Geoff Knight is wrong.” (ABC, 19/02/13)
“In May, DMITRE’s deputy chief executive Paul Heithersay criticised the MRRT indicating it had resulted in SA’s declining rank on the internationally recognised Fraser Institute’s mining investment index.” Mr. Hamilton-Smith said.
“Today’s independent analysis provided by the ABS shows that both men were correct.”
“Labor’s senior departmental executives know that Labor’s policies are killing off investment and quashing jobs growth. It’s time for Labor to listen.”
“This constitutes 11 years of Labor failure on the mining sector and underpins the need for a change of government.” Mr. Hamilton-Smith said.