News

Feeling Gassy

We could run out of gas on chilly days as early as next winter, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has warned again. The SMH reports ExxonMobil and Woodside Energy are preparing to shutter one of three key plants that process gas from the Bass Strait, the 50-year-old Gippsland Basin, which has provided two-thirds of the southern states’ gas appetite.

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Rinehart boss blasts Labor’s ‘nature-positive’ agenda

One of Gina Rinehart’s top lieutenants says the Albanese government’s so-called nature-positive laws pose a huge threat to farming and mining. Hancock Agriculture boss Adam Giles said the process “smelled” like a repeat of the shambolic Indigenous heritage legislation rolled out by West Australia’s Labor government last year.

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Australia expects smaller revenue upgrade in budget due to falling commodity prices

Booming commodity prices saw major minerals exporter Australia upgrade its budget revenue by more than A$100 billion ($66.12 billion) in 2022-2023, a feat that is unlikely to be repeated this year, Treasurer Jim Chalmers said in a speech. “The revenue upgrades will be smaller,” he said. “In each of our first two budgets we benefited from more than A$100 billion in revenue upgrades. This year, we won’t see anything like that. “In fact we are even looking at much less than the A$69 billion we booked in the latest mid-year budget update.”

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Media Release | Help mining or we risk our golden goose | Tania Constable

Mining’s contribution ensures Australians have access to quality healthcare, education, and infrastructure – the pillars of a strong and vibrant society. Nor could we afford the significant increases in defence spending we are told our strategic circumstances require. Too many in Canberra seem to be embarrassed that our nation depends so thoroughly on our natural resources bounty. Despite underwriting our nation’s prosperity, living standards and security, the path forward for this industry that contributes so much remains uncertain. The mining sector is our economic golden goose, and it is up to us to nurture its health for current and future generations of Australians. It’s time to set the stage for a healthy mining sector, primed to continue laying its golden eggs long into the future.

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Simon Trott Opinion: As other sectors slow, mining keeps economy ticking over

The growth of the mining sector contributed more than half of the growth in Australia’s GDP in the last quarter. At a time when economic growth is slowing, and household budgets remain under intense pressure from inflation and interest rates, this contribution provides much-needed support for the economy and the Australian people. To put this data in real terms, it means jobs for Australians, it means contracts for local suppliers, it means ongoing investment in some of Australia’s most remote communities, and it means an increased contribution to government coffers through taxes and royalties. This provides revenue for governments to invest in critical infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, roads and important social support like investment in NDIS and aged care.

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Hey Treasurer, how about a shout-out for mining? The Nightly | Editorial

The Government is intent on adding layer after layer of onerous regulation at a time other nations are rolling out the welcome mat to investment in an effort to get their economies moving. If there is a cheaper, more stable option elsewhere, investors won’t hesitate to walk. Mining will continue to do much of the heavy lifting in propping up the Australian economy. But even the most robust and resilient industry has its limits.

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RESOURCES TO THE RESCUE: EXPORTS PROP UP CRACKED, AILING ECONOMY

Booming iron ore and coal exports are poised to save the economy from going backwards in the final three months of 2023, with public spending providing a further prop to growth.The most recent Australian ­Bureau of Statistics figures show iron ore sales jumped by 9.9 per cent in the quarter, and coal exports climbed by 5.3 per cent.

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Who sets Australia’s fossil fuels policy?

Last November in a speech to mining executives, Australia’s richest person, Gina Rinehart, urged more miners to get into politics and remove environmental regulations. Rinehart has a long record of climate scepticism and opposition to renewable energy. Last December she made the extraordinary claim that a third of Australia’s agricultural land could be taken over by wind and solar projects. (The Clean Energy Council notes that replacing all of Australia’s coal-fired power stations with solar farms would take less than 0.016 per cent of the country’s land.) Rinehart’s source was the Institute for Public Affairs, an organisation to which she has reportedly contributed millions of dollars and which has a long record of propagandising against renewable energy.

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Tying business up in red tape strangles productivity | The Nightly

Australia is in the middle of a crushing cost-of-living crisis. The most effective way out of it is to increase productivity. Improving productivity puts downward pressure on prices, but it does so without the financial pain associated with the only other major inflation-busting lever — punishing interest rate hikes. Given that, the Government should be throwing the kitchen sink at getting its policy settings right. Instead, Labor seems intent on tying up business in more and more red tape.

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Rio Tinto board gives go-ahead on Simandou iron ore project

Rio Tinto CEO Jakob Stausholm told the Financial Times on Wednesday that the company’s board has given the green light to the Simandou mining project in West Africa. Stausholm said the company aims to commence iron ore production from the $20 billion development as early as 2025. “The board yesterday approved the largest mining project in the world,” Stausholm told the Financial Times.

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Rio warns Labor’s IR changes could reignite workplace tensions

Rio Tinto chief executive Jakob Stausholm says the Albanese government’s industrial relations reforms could reignite the workplace tensions of the 1980s as he flagged a further rise in the cost of producing Australian iron ore. The continued cost escalation in the Pilbara comes at a time when Mr Stausholm said inflationary pressures were easing in many other parts of the world. Mr Stausholm warned the government’s embrace of multi-employer workplace agreements and its same job, same pay labour hire changes were causing concerns.

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