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Transcript of interview with Charlie Pickering, Carrie Bickmore, Helen Mccabe and Tim Ross: Channel Ten, The Project: 23 August 2012: mining boom; Olympic Dam



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SENATOR THE HON PENNY WONG

MINISTER FOR FINANCE AND DEREGULATION

TRANSCRIPT

PW 176/12 23 August 2012

TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW - CHANNEL TEN’S THE PROJECT WITH CHARLIE PICKERING, CARRIE BICKMORE, HELEN MCCABE AND TIM ROSS

SUBJECT: MINING BOOM; OLYMPIC DAM

E & O E - PROOF ONLY

PICKERING: Senator, first up, let’s just go through some of those quotes again from today ...

FERGUSON: The resources boom is over.

WONG: I think the mining boom’s still got a long way to run.

FERGUSON: Penny Wong and I are saying the same thing.

PICKERING: I guess my first question is ... Wha? [laughter]

WONG: If we look at the full content of what Martin and I are saying, we actually are both saying the same thing. Both of us are saying that the high prices we’re getting for commodities at the moment are tailing off, but we’ve still got a lot of investment to come. There’s still a lot of construction going on in the mining industry.

PICKERING: But you can understand how it’s confusing and the average person - and by that I mean pretty much everyone in the country [laughter] - would see those statements and think, hang on, shouldn’t the Government at least both be singing out of the same songbook on this one.

WONG: I don’t reckon you want Martin or I singing actually, to be honest with you [laughter].

MCCABE: Senator, the shelving of the Olympic Dam proposal - what impact do you think that’s going to have on the state of South Australia?

WONG: It’s a really disappointing decision and certainly I’m very disappointed, the Premier’s very disappointed and so are many South Australian by the decision. But resources are still there and of course there are other investments going into South Australia, for example the Federal Government has ensured that we’re investing in Holdens, in the car industry there - opposed by the Opposition - but that’s an important investment. Of course there’s the submarines project, and a lot of the spin off from the biggest defence project in Australia’s history is something that will do South Australia in good stead.

MCCABE: Minister, the Opposition Leader didn’t have a particularly good 24-hours on this issue, but he’s right in saying that mining companies are very concerned about the impact of the mining tax, isn’t he?

WONG: A couple of things on that - first, on the one hand, Mr Abbott says the mining tax is a dreadful thing for the Olympic Dam project. On the other hand, the facts are that the mining tax doesn’t apply to the output of Olympic Dam. What we’ve seen unfortunately is a pretty bad scare campaign, from the Leader of the Opposition, and one that just doesn’t stack up on the facts.

ROSS: Senator, when you hear the word ‘boom’, are you like me and do you think of the Paul Lekakis song ‘Boom, Boom, Boom, Let’s go back to my room’? [laughter]

WONG: Ah ... afraid not.

ROSS: Okay, it’s wasn’t an offer [laughter] ... just a question.

WONG: I’m glad we’ve cleared that up [laughter].

PICKERING: ... And I think we’re all proud that we’ve asked you at least one question you haven’t been asked by anyone else today [laughter]. Penny, thanks very much for your time tonight.

WONG: Good to be with you.

ENDS