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Opposition minerals policy means confusion not jobs



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N E W. S • F E L E A; S E

DPIE93 29 January 1993

OPPOSITION MINERALS: POLICY MEANS CONFUSION NOT JOBS

Tim Fischer's minerals policy statement is dear evidence of the Opposition's shoddy and inappropriate approach to the future development of Australia's resources sector, the Federal Minister for Resources, Alan Griffiths, said today.

"The Opposition's proposal to impose an arbitrary 12-month time frame for environmental assessment for major projects, followed by automatic approval if the assessment isn't completed in time, would turn Australia's internationally renowned development, environmental, heritage and cultural laws into a

caricature of decent legislation.

"Increasingly, the economic well-being of Australian industry will depend on the maintenance of first-class environmental practices. Yet the Opposition is sending a signal that the environment doesn't matter.

Additionally, the Opposition is sending out confusing signals on the High Court's Mabo ruling.

"Tim Fischer is promising all parties a commitment to protect existing rights, yet is also indicating the Opposition would legislate on the issue if necessary..

"Mr Fischer should come clean on the object and implications of such legislation.

"The Mabo decision is a significant one for all Australians and should be addressed through a substantial process of consultation with all parties involved-and not in the cavalier fashion proposed by the Opposition.

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COMMONWEALTH. PARLI AMEN NARY LIBRARY MICAH

Parliament House Phone: (06) 277 7480

Canberra ACT 2600. Fax: (06) 273 4154

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Mr Griffiths pointed to the range of initiatives which have been taken for the mining industry under Labor, including:

the speeding up of approvals for major projects, such as the McArthur River project and the recently announced Mt Todd project

- removal of export controls on iron ore

- introduction of tax deductibility for minesite rehabilitation

- improvement of foreign investment guidelines, and

- improvements to transport and electricity infrastructure

Mr Griffiths also noted that the Opposition still supports the inappropriate development of nuclear energy as a fuel alternative.

"The hoice is clear: The Government will not allow the nuclear fuel cycle into Australia. The Opposition however, is committed to uranium enrichment , and, potentially, nuclear power, with all its attendant risks."

Information: Kristen Barry, Minister's office - ( 06) 277 7480.