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Ms Gina Rinehart criticizes royalty rebate to junior iron ore miners

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Mining magnate Ms Gina Rinehart’s criticises of the Mr Barnett government’s assistance scheme for junior miners has failed to stop Mr Ian Macfarlane, Industry Minister, encouraging more state governments to explore mining royalty rebate schemes.

Ms Rinehart made her comments after winning the Asia-Pacific deal of the year award from Project Finance International, an annual set of awards published by Thomson-Reuters.

She criticised green left political groups, government bureaucracy and the Barnett government’s new rebate scheme for junior miners. She said “Governments shouldn’t be bailing out businesses; instead they should be getting out of the way. I cop a lot of the flak for being pro mining and pro free enterprise, both necessary to raise living standards in our country. The mining and related industries need to speak up for themselves and that responsibility shouldn’t fall to just a few.”

But Mr Macfarlane has backed the West Australian government’s announcement of a 50% royalty rebate for junior miners while the iron ore price is under AUD 90 a tonne and urged other state governments to consider changing their royalties schemes. Mr Macfarlane said that “If states want to see their gas and oil companies continue to explore, then they may have to incentivise that and they best way to do that is to reduce royalties.”

Despite disagreement over the rebate scheme for junior miners, Mr Macfarlane agreed with Ms Rinehart that mining was an overregulated sector, often not appreciated by the general public. He said that “I think Gina’s right in saying that, at times, we [Australians] take our resource sector for granted and certainly in the coalition that’s not the case, in the coalition we are very focused on ensuring it getting the opportunities it need to grows. At a state and local government level, mining projects are inhibited by an extraordinary amount of regulation and co-operatively governments are working on that.”

Source – Sydney Morning Herald

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