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Chilling exploration expenditure collapse

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T im Fischer mp Federal Member for Farrer

Leader of the National Party of Australia

Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources



Speaking at the official launch of the Australian Mining Industry Council's Annual Minerals Industry Survey in Canberra today, Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources and Federal Leader of the National Party, Tim Fischer, said the survey pointed to some major areas of concern.

"The survey confirms that exploration expenditure this financial year is forecast to fall by 27% and research and development expenditure is expected to fall by 44%.

"Exploration expenditure will plunge from $561 million last financial year to $410 million this financial year, and in such places as Tasmania the collapse in expenditure is most pronounced.

"The implications are enormous for the future of the mining sector, especially as Australia has considerable areas of great prospectivity yet to be fully explored.

"Clearly, the sovereign risk problem created by the Federal Labor Government over such issues as Coronation Hill and the taxation structure are greatly harming mining.

Mr Fischer added that the Coalition's 'Fightback' package would abolish $238 million of payroll tax on the mining industry, $56 million on diesel and fuel oil excise, $48 million on coal export duty, and several million dollars of sales tax, (e.g. in the case of MIM $4.5 million was paid in sales tax the year before last).

"Both the Leader of the Opposition John Hewson and I are absolutely committed to bringing in the right framework policy settings, particularly on taxation, to see both the agriculture and mining sectors having sufficient confidence to expand," Mr Fischer said.


11 December 1991

Parliament House, Canberra, A.C.T. 2600. Telephone (06) 277 4058. Facsimile (06) 277 2052