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Industries Assistance Commission report on copper ores and concentrates (interim report) - Mt Lyell

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The Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs,

Mr Wal Fife today announced that the Government has received a

report from the Industries Assistance Commission relating, to the v '

provision of short term financial assistance for the production of

copper ore and concentrates. Mr Fife said that in discussion relatin

to the report with Mr Ray Groom? Member for Braddon, he had

assured Mr Groom that the report will receive urgent consideration.

The Minister said that the Government had indicated

its attitude to the Mt Lyell situation in its Press Release

of 15 August 1977 in which it had indicated that due to unacceptable

unemployment and regional problems.,. which would arise from .

closure of the Mt Lyell mine, immediate assistance would be

provided to the Company. The Minister-stated that the Government

had given an undertaking to provide assistance to Mt Lyell Mining '

&·Railway Company Limited on a -dollar~for-dollar basis with the

Tasmanian Government. The assistance, designed to cover Mt Lyell8s

cash shortfall situation; will be provided till such time as the

Government announces its decision on the IAC report. He said

that the Commonwealth's contribution will be by way of a Section

95 advance which would be repayable under an agreement with the

Company„ whereby, once the company established a positive cash

flow the Commonwealth would be reimbursed for the amounts

advanced to the Company„ ·

The Minister agreed with Mr Groom that urgent

consideration of the Industries Assistance Commission's report

is essential because of the uncertainty which might otherwise

be generated. This consideration was particularly important

in view of the extensive regional and social problems which

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would result in the Queenstown area from any run down of .

activity, at the Mt Lyell mine, Mr Fife stressed that he was

fully cognizant of the Queenstown region5s dependence on the

activity of the Mt Lyell mine. He stated that this would be a

central consideration in the Government's analysis of the

Industries Assistance Commission's Report, The Minister

assured Mr Groom that he has put in train procedures to hasten

the Government's consideration of the report. ·


7 October 1977