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MIM and the national interest test.

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MEDIA RELEASE Joel Fitzgibbon MP Federal Member for Hunter Shadow Minister for Resources Electorate 45 Vincent Street PO Box 526 Cessnock NSW 2325 Ph: (02) 4991 1022 Fax: (02) 4991 2322 Parliament House RG 52 Canberra ACT 2600 Ph: (02) 6277 4404 Fax: (02) 6277 8479

Tuesday April 8, 2003


While debate continues within MIM over whether Xstrata’s bid for MIM is in the shareholder’s interests there should also be a debate about whether it is in the national interest.

The mining sector largely underpins the Australian economy. Recent consolidation in the $60 billion a year resources sector has seen the unprecedented transfer of Australia’s resources to overseas companies.

The ongoing globalisation of Australia’s resources also risks denying Australia the ongoing economic flow on benefits from the development and export of mining machinery, techniques and expertise.

It is almost certain that further development of MIM resources will occur if MIM remains the owner, but the question remains whether these same resources will be left in the ground if Xstrata takes control.

During the Shell bid for Woodside, the Government was concerned that the offer was not in Australia’s national interest and that Shell would place its own interests ahead of the national interest when exploiting and marketing its gas reserves.

If the Government is going to approve the MIM takeover, what conditions will apply?

1. Will there be the retention of both the Brisbane and Sydney Head Office?

2. Will the Government ensure adequate priority will be given to the development of Australian resources within Xstrata’s international portfolio?

3. Will the Government seek to impose conditions that protect employment levels?

4. Will there be conditions to ensure the competitive and aggressive marketing of the company’s resources?

5. Will the Government adequately resource the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to ensure the conditions imposed are maintained or met?

The Treasurer applied the national interest argument for the Shell vs Woodside case - why not now?

The Treasurer needs to examine the same questions in this case.

Contact: Joel Fitzgibbon 0418 293 372 Katie Brassil 04011 07491