Question - to Minister for Industry
September 4, 2014
My question is to the Minister for Industry.
Will the minister advise the House how the government is working to put the
right policy settings in place in order to support and regain competitiveness
within our critically important mining sector?
IAN MACFARLANE (Groom—Minister for Industry) (14:38): I thank the member the Durack for her
question and thank her for the enormous work she does for the resources
industry, not only in the state of Western Australia and particularly in the
seat of Durack but in fact for all Australia. The member has done a fantastic
job in taking over from the previous member, Barry Haase, in bringing mining
companies to this place to allow members on the backbench in particular, who
may not have a mine in their backyard, to see the importance of mining in
I recommend to the member
for Swan—the member for Lilley, sorry—that he actually reconsider the
continuous attack that he placed on the mining industry when he was the Deputy
Prime Minister and Treasurer. There were attacks on individuals and attacks on
the industry, an industry which the Acting Prime Minister just pointed out
employs around a million people directly and indirectly. It is an industry which
kept Mr Swan's budget afloat—as best as any budget under Labor could be kept
afloat—by continuing to earn much-needed export income for Australia.
Champion: I surrender, Ian!
The SPEAKER: The member for Wakefield,
far from getting a gold star will soon be in the naughty corner!
IAN MACFARLANE: I am waiting for the member for Charlton,
We are facing a challenge
in the resources industry at the moment as we transition from the construction
of resource projects to the production of resource projects. We need to make
sure that that next wave of investment actually happens. We have seen an
industry that already pays its fair share of tax. In fact, over the last two
years since June 2014 it has raised over—
Conroy: Two years since June 2014?
IAN MACFARLANE: Two years to June 2014 has raised over $40
billion for the Commonwealth coffers.
The reality is that we need
to make sure that this sector remains strong. By removing the mining tax we
have sent a very clear message to those people looking to invest in Australia,
that we are open for business. But, of course, all investments in mines
Conroy: You've still got time!
IAN MACFARLANE: I still have time! The reality is that all good
mines start with exploration and that is why this government has put in place a
$100 million exploration development incentive, which I launched in the member
for O'Connor's electorate, to make sure that we have the exploration that
ensures that the mining industry remains strong.
Those opposite treated the
mining industry as a cash cow—as an ATM; somewhere to go when they ran out of
money. The coalition government wants to make sure that the mining industry
actually continues to produce the one thing that is very important, and that is
jobs—jobs for all Australians.