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'Don't hide your light'

Tuesday, 24th May, 2011

BRIGHT FUTURE: Professor Richard Hames addressing the inaugural Resources and Energy Symposium yesterday. BRIGHT FUTURE: Professor Richard Hames addressing the inaugural Resources and Energy Symposium yesterday.

It was time for the mining, resources and energy sector to show the good work it was doing, the inaugural Resources and Energy Symposium heard yesterday.

More than 400 people registered for the three-day conference in the city which has attracted some of the industry's most sought-after speakers including Professor Dr Richard Hames, the Founding Director and President of the Asian Foresight Institute.

The futurist delivered a keynote address entitled "Myths, Crises and Opportunities in the Australian Resources Industry." 

Professor Hames said the industry had to change the way it worked in order to remain relevant in a fast-paced world.

"I see only a positive future so long as you can adapt and adapt fast."

Professor Hames said the energy and resources sector needed to "reinvent" its story by creating a world which was sustainable and provided hope and jobs for future generations.

"Australia can become a beacon of hope for the rest of the world," Professor Hames said. 

Professor Ian Plimer from the University of Adelaide, who is the Symposium's Patron, said the mining industry was under "attack" from proposed mining and carbon taxes.

"The reason why this industry is so successful in Australia is because we have cheap energy," Professor Plimer said. "If we price that cheap energy out of the market and rely on sea breezes and sunbeams then we will not get ahead."

He said it was time for the industry to "bite back."

"The job is to be continually talking about how good this industry is."

Professor Plimer also questioned why the city's largest mining company - Perilya - had not been a sponsor of the event. CBH Resources was a sponsor. 

Symposium Managing Director Kerry Stevenson said the Federal Minister for Resources was unable to attend the conference because of commitments in Canberra, but that did not stop her from delivering a political message.

"I urge this Australian Government to remember industry needs investment, resources need financing, now, not in ten years' time," Ms Stevenson said.

"Prime Minister, please stop trying to kill one of the biggest industries, if not the biggest industry, that is thriving in Australia."

Ms Stevenson said profits from the symposium would be put back into the energy and resources industry.

Mayor Wincen Cuy welcomed those attending the conference to the city on behalf of City Council. 

"There is no doubt in anyone's minds here that we are the spiritual capital of Australian mining."

Mayor Cuy also spoke of the economic benefits the influx of visitors attending the conference would bring.

"You are tourists, we expect you to buy gifts for your loved ones.... we also expect you to indulge in a beer or two," he said. 

Yesterday's agenda also included an address by Carpentaria Exploration Executive Chairman Nick Sheard, and CBH Resources Managing Director Stephen Dennis.

Mr Dennis thanked the community of Broken Hill, Mayor Cuy and Member for Murray-Darling John Williams for their support of the Rasp Mine which should be operating by April next year. It is now in the development stage. 

The Symposium continues today.

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