Western Australia Minister for Mines and Petroleum Norman Moore
Minister Rebuts Opposition Attack On Mining Exploration Scheme
Victor P Taffa
Western Australia Minister for Mines and Petroleum Norman Moore has hit back at newspaper comments attributed to Opposition Spokeswoman Alannah MacTiernan as her comments could potentially damage Western Australia’s important but fragile, resources exploration industry.
Opposition spokeswoman Alannah MacTiernan had displayed her ignorance of the resource sector by criticising a State Government program for mining exploration.
“Many people do not appear to understand that the issue of mining exploration is very different to the issue of mining itself.” Mr Moore said.
“Very soon after this Government came to power, two major reports indicated that business confidence in WA’s resources sector had plummeted. We had toppled from being the best to the worst performing State as an attractive business destination.”
“Exploration activity in underexplored areas – the foundation of finding the mines of tomorrow which will continue to power our economy – had fallen dramatically and there was little likelihood of recovery without our Government’s intervention.”
The Minister said that under the Liberal-National Government’s Royalties for Regions-funded exploration incentive scheme (EIS), the industry had become more willing to explore WA’s undiscovered resource wealth in greenfields locations.
“There is still much to discover about the State’s geology and resources.” Mr. Moore said.
“If we don’t find the mines of tomorrow today, there won’t be any. Ultimately, this will mean everyone suffers.”
“The co-funded drilling scheme that Ms. MacTiernan so obviously does not understand encourages exploration because it reduces the risk taken by individual companies even those that are relatively established and cashed-up.”
“The incentive can prompt a company’s board to explore in previously unexplored, remote or Greenfield areas and to use previously untested, innovative techniques.” Mr Moore said.
“It isn’t taxpayers funding companies. The community’s payoff is having the exploration results made public and improving knowledge of geology, drilling and technology.”
“This in turn can lead to new mines, which means more jobs, more royalties to help pay for essential services provided to the people and a more robust economy.”
“I would be very concerned if Ms. MacTiernan did not understand this.” Mr Moore said.
The Opposition should understand that the mining industry employs people and plays a very big part in the economy of Western Australia.