Home' Australian Resources and Investment : March 2017 Contents the mining industry is actually doing
something about it.
Automatic trucks, automated rail and
remote operations centres have moved
from the realm of Star Wars to the
practical day-to-day. Drones are now
a part of the engineers' and surveyors'
toolkits, and deep analytics and data
lakes are used in everyday business
This revolution is continuing, and will
create new high-tech jobs and catalyse
new Australian innovation initiatives.
If this isn't enough, let's not forget that
mining and its related industries also
ensured that Australia survived the global
nancial crisis (GFC) relatively unscathed.
Mining companies paid around $25
billion in royalties and taxes in the
2013--14 nancial year alone.
My own private family company is
Australia's biggest private taxpayer, and
our tax, just like the rest of those paid by
the mining industry, helps to fund vital
government services, our hospitals and
healthcare centres, the defence of our
nation, our police, our roads, the care of
our elderly and those who are unable to
look after themselves, and more.
How many other industries have
done as much for as long as our mining
The media, at times, pressures
politicians to spend more taxpayer
money, and politicians in turn often
succumb to this and announce greater
expenditure, and our record debt
increases. But the focus seems to have
been lost regarding creating the revenue
to pay for increased expenditure,
creating a good environment for
investment and for enabling export
industries to be cost competitive
internationally, given so many expensive
Is it any wonder that investment in
Australia is now the lowest it's been
since the Whitlam years?
Our government now has to
borrow more money just to be able to
pay the interest costs of previously
For Australia to prosper, it needs
investment to be encouraged with good
policies, less government tape, and
lower government taxes and costs,
and Australia needs our mining and
related industries, and all our export
industries. But our government seems
to be out of touch; in around two years
of commodity price cuts and many calls
to reduce government red tape and
other government burdens, what have
they actually done to cut government
burdens to enable us to still be
There's no 'buy Australian' campaign
that will induce our trading partners to
purchase our products if it costs more
than competing nations. There is no
place for government intervention in
the commodities export market, but our
international customers will buy our
products if they remain cost competitive
As an export-oriented nation, with a
relatively small population, our prosperity
and high living standards depend on our
ability to export competitively and sell our
Fundamental to international
competitiveness is low government
regulation burdens, low taxation and
other government expense.
We somehow need to get our
government to understand, despite
its members usually not being from a
business or mining-related background,
that we can't tax our way to prosperity,
and the government needs to be more
nancially responsible, and needs
to spend less and reduce our record
national debt, instead of being induced
by the media to spend more.
I recently visited Washington, DC.,
where I had the pleasure of listening
to and meeting various members of
Trump's campaign team, including
former New York City mayor Rudy
Giuliani, and Trump's campaign
manager, Kellyanne Conway.
Trump and his team won this
election because they listened to
the people of America, despite the
signi cant problem of constant and
unrelenting negative coverage of the
president-elect, including at times his
loyal supporters, such as his wife,
in attempts to upset the focus of the
president-elect. People close to the
president-elect and his campaign
advised that their countrymen told them
they wanted, rstly, less government
tape; secondly, less taxation; and
thirdly, for the United States to grow
and be economically strong again, and
provide more sustainable jobs.
And how exciting -- this is exactly
what the president-elect and his team
are advising they want to deliver for
America and its struggling economy.
In addition to wanting to deliver secure
borders, a safer country and less
Trump's team members advised that
the president-elect wants to cut federal
government tape by 50 per cent in his
rst months of of ce, and that he wants
to cut company tax to 15 per cent.
What a kickstart to the American
economy that will provide!
If only we were hearing similar
policies from our own government.
We need to let our government know
this would be good for Australians,
too -- instead of continuing along the
path of the Greece example, that being
increasing irresponsible government
expenditure and debt to the ultimate
detriment of the people of Greece.
Unfortunately for Australia, government
regulation and red tape is one of our
biggest industries -- and it's growing!
Decades of regulations [have been]
piled upon regulations with little
thought as to how this would impact
business and, indeed, the economy and
To attempt to illustrate just how bad
Australia's red tape problem is, the IPA --
and I'm so glad that many IPA members
are here tonight -- estimates that red
tape costs the Australian economy $176
billion annually. Who can really tell that
it's not even higher? That's a staggering
11 per cent of GDP.
The IPA also estimates that under
the Gillard and Rudd Governments,
an astounding 444 bureaucratic
government bodies were established
in Australia, of which 198 are
engaged in imposing regulations on
It gets worse.
In a ranking by the World Economic
VOLUME 11 NUMBER 1 • Australian Resources and Investment • 9
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