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Olympic Dam cuts expose Gillard Government's recklessness on resources

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Ian Macfarlane MP

Shadow Minister for Energy & Resources Federal Member for Groom

MEDIA INQUIRIES: KYLIE BARRON 07 4632 4144 0413 229 957 -

House of Representatives Parliament of Australia

22 August 2012 Ref: 01312


BHP Billiton’s decision to put the Olympic Dam open-pit expansion on ice is more evidence that the Gillard Government’s disastrous policies, including the carbon tax, are compromising the next wave of energy and resources development, Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources Ian Macfarlane said today.

“The news that BHP Billiton has decided not to go ahead with its expansion of Olympic Dam in its current format and won’t commit to any type of expansion before December shows the folly of the Gillard Government’s reckless assumptions that the mining boom will continue regardless of what deeply flawed policies it puts in the way of the resources sector,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“BHP Billiton’s decision is a stark illustration that mining investment in Australia cannot be taken for granted.

“The Gillard and Rudd Governments have been playing a high stakes game with Australian jobs and export revenue because of their repeated failure to understand that investment in Australian energy and resources projects can’t be assumed to go ahead regardless of higher taxes, higher costs and extra red tape.

“The price of that casual disregard is now crystal clear, but unfortunately it’s Australian workers and regional communities who have the most to lose.

“International companies are weighing up their future investments against the increasing costs of projects in Australia and the uncertain regulatory environment which has been caused by the Government constantly inflicting new conditions and taxes on the sector.

“The carbon tax puts Australian resources projects at a competitive disadvantage to our international competitors, and what’s more the Gillard Government is basing the integrity of the budget on a mining tax which is dependent on revenue that looks increasingly like a mirage, as commodity prices continue to weaken.

“The Gillard Government continues to compromise long-term investments in Australia’s energy and resources sector.

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Media release from the Hon. Ian Macfarlane MP — Member for Groom Page 2

“The Coalition understands the significance of energy and resources projects and would scrap the carbon tax and the mining tax, to start restoring confidence for international investors.”