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Pledge to miners

Wednesday, 27th May, 2015

By Erica Visser

The state minister for resources has committed to halving red tape for mining.

Addressing the local mining symposium, Industry, Resources and Energy Minister Anthony Roberts said in a pre-recorded video that the government was committed to supporting the industry.

“As I’ve made clear many times - NSW is a mining state and we welcome your investment and indeed take steps to encourage that investment,” Mr Roberts said.

“... That’s why the NSW government has committed to halving the time it takes major resource projects to pass through our assessment framework on top of the significant incentives we provide to support the discovery and development of natural resources.”

Mr Roberts added that the mining industry was integral to the survival and development of the state’s economy.

Kerry Stevenson, the Resources Investment Symposium organiser, afterwards urged mining heavyweights to hold Mr Roberts accountable for the comments.

“If any of you are having problems, maybe you should remind him that you were in Broken Hill and you heard out of his very mouth that he was going to cut red tape by 50 per cent,” Mr Stevenson told the crowd.

“...You’ve got to hold people accountable if they make comments like that.”

Ian Plimer, who sits on the board for numerous companies including Roy Hill Holdings Pty Ltd., said the government needed to boost its support for an industry that has historically battled government regulations and negative public perceptions.

“Politicians are people that I don’t normally embrace and believe very much and what (Mr Roberts) has to do is to reduce the amount of regulatory activity that you have to go through to start a mine,” Mr Plimer said.

“I’m director of Roy Hill. We had to get 4,940 approvals to open an iron ore mine in an iron ore mining province, in an iron ore state.

“Now that is an absolute travesty.”

Mr Plimer said mining projects could take years to get off the ground.

“If you have a really good geological idea in this state, from the concept to the concentrate will take 20 years.

“So we really do need to add another factor and that is that governments have to be much, much more supportive of people who are taking risks and employing people where jobs normally would not exist.”

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