By J. Landry
NSW is the worst state in the country for mining investment; behind even Victoria and Tasmania.
These are the facts the state is facing in the lead up to the March 28 election. The information from the Fraser Institute’s survey was a major talking point during NSW Minerals Councils CEO lunch address at the Sydney Mining Club.
“When the Coalition was elected we were ranked 20th, now we’re 39th… something has gone backwards” said Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee. “We’re the least attractive state for mining.”
During his hour long address, Galilee provided the ammunition to back up his claims as he pointed to exploration activity falling almost by half within a period of three years from 2011 to 2014. The effect being that 1 in 5 coal miners has been put out of work in the last 2 ½ years.
”We’ve had a frank discussion with the Premier”, he explained while urging reform on state mining issues in the lead up to the election.
So, just how important is mining to the country? It’s a fundamentally popular industry in NSW. Consistently, for three years running there has been 70% support. Unfortunately, the government isn’t giving them the support they need. The state’s depleted mining scene is evident as the sector’s profitability reverses while simultaneously being hit with extra fees. “We’ve had new and increased fees on our sector… we’ve been seen as a cash cow… without any warning or consultation.”
During his address Galilee also made special note of the visible radical environmentalists who are gaining media attention through both legal and illegal demonstrations – aiding negative coverage of the sector.
The event, kicked off by Sydney Mining Club Founder and Chairman Julian Malnic was hosted to a packed house at the Tattersalls Club. Malnic used his introduction as an opportunity to speak about the issues that are holding down the industry from the MRRT, land access issues and the carbon tax.
The message from both Malnic and Galilee was blunt – NSW mining is not attractive to investors, they’re staying away, its hurting the state, and voters are noticing.
The Minerals Council has made sure their message is visible as well. Their current advertising campaign is gaining significant traction and the organisation is working with the Newcastle Knights NRL club as part of their “Voice for Mining Family Day.”
Yet despite the current NSW Government’s remarks of jobs and growth, Galilee had this to say about the Labor alternative, “it’s difficult to make an assessment on the Labor Party because they haven’t really talked about their policies.”