Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard blusters at the mining industry

I have just read “Boom is not yours, PM tells miners” – as if the industry is not aware that State Govts own the mineral rights and issue leases/licences under various terms to competent companies/organizations to explore for said minerals.

Then if payable minerals are discovered – mining leases are negotiated to develop same and royalty payments are made back to the State. That is the basic system the great majority of nations use to develop their mineral resources.

There are examples of where Governments form State owned mining companies – the old USSR of course comes to mind – China – and I think in Chile Codelco is State owned – PNG owns OK Tedi Mining – and South Africa has recently launched a state-owned mining company – Namibia has made moves in that direction too.

I am sure readers might suggest other examples. I have no issue with States who invest in minerals alongside the private sector.

I would say to the PM and her Govt – why not form Aussie GreenLabor Mining Ltd if you think there is so much easy money to be made – pay off some of the huge debts you are building up on the Aussie Bankcard.

Another quicker way to get mining would be to buy some beaten down mineral exploration companies on the ASX – some are selling for only the value of their cash – then you get a structure, staff, ongoing projects basically for nix.

See how easy it is to find another Broken Hill, Mount Isa, Kalgoorlie, Cadia, Hammersley Iron or the next great coal-field.

Remember your own Labor history from the Whitlam years – recall the example of Rex Connor who trod a nationalist path with mineral resources – learn from the disaster that overtook him.

9 comments to Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard blusters at the mining industry

  • [...] Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard blusters at the mining industry [...]

  • Graeme Inkster

    Please, Warwick, don’t encourage them to spend more money in areas where they aren’t competent. Though I am a bit lost as to what they are competent in.

  • val majkus

    If anyone is confused by the PM’s speech I recommend this article
    www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/qed/2010/06/taxing-light-and-air

    The first porky is the Rudd mantra is that mining resources are “owned by all Australians”. WRONG. The minerals underground are owned by each individual state. They are the rights of the Crown and each state in Australia owns those rights and minerals. Indeed any home-owner can check their title deeds and see that the mineral rights belong to the state government.

    the article is written in 2010 but the legal position is clear – minerals do not belong to the Commonwealth – I think Gillard is getting mixed up between her ‘Crowns’

  • pattoh

    Does anybody remember the “Mungana Affair

    Amazingly, some of the Labor Chorus ( Ross Fitzgerald springs to mind) still sing Red Teds praises.

  • Beachgirl

    Just another step towards a less prosperous and weaker Australia.
    Kakadu victory as uranium mining battle ends

  • ianl8888

    Gillard is getting mixed up between her ‘Crowns’

    Oh no she’s not … the ALP is very well aware of the minerals ownership position. The Feds own the minerals in both Territories and beneath the sea-bed between the low-tide line and international maritime boundaries. The State Govts own all the rest

    My political memory and experience goes back to the last Menzies Govt. Following that, the ALP Govts of Whitlam, Hawke/Keating and Rudd/Gillard have all had their go at the mining industry, based on their desire to get their hands on the money flow, irrespective of both mineral ownership and sovereign risk issues

    Connor (Whitlam Govt) had his go, slapping a tax on coal exported from the Bowen Basin mines (taxing exports, unbelievable !) and attempting to siphon gas from WA to the eastern States (where almost all the ALP votes are) with Khemlani’s funny money

    Keating slyly wanted, or hoped for, Native Title to force supply of royalty streams to traditional owners as defined under the Act. The States, all of them, determinedly resisted this and the High Court finally agreed with them about 10 years ago

    Rudd/Gillard/Swan know they cannot constitutionally expropriate royalties from the States for their own use so they threaten to “equalise” by with-holding GST receipts.

    It is within the Federal jurisdiction to cherry-pick increases in Company tax (coal and iron ore miners are a good target for this) but that sends an international message: “Invest here please, and if you are successful we will reward you with savage increases in your tax rates”. That’s what banana republics do

    Hence the sleazy political line: “Australians own the minerals – they must all have their fair share”. The bogans believe this – free money without risk … it appeals directly to the envy gene

  • val majkus

    Ian – I agree with you re Cth ownership in the Territories and reflecting your sentiments re tax but in relation to another tax I sent this e mail to someone last week:

    It does seem weird that the Govt can impose a tax on some entities on something which is not even on the National Pollutions Index and on something which is non taxed to every other entity

    If only we had a constitution like France where there had to be a balancing act see wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/29/french-revolution-carbon-tax-ruled-unconstitutional-just-two-days-before-taking-effect/ (dated 2009 so not sure what’s happened since that)

    That is, in Australia under our current laws there does not seem to be required a public purpose other than the raising of revenue

    No benefit required

    Back to the minerals tax I’ve never heard this political line: “Australians own the minerals – they must all have their fair share” until the Rudd Govt. Did previous Govts have a different mantra about sharing the wealth of boom goods

  • Bob in Castlemaine

    True Ian the “Crown” as in the sovereign states owns the minerals not the Commonwealth. But I’m sure Julia knows that, sometimes she just forgets whose crown it is.

  • Philip Bradley

    The states own the minerals in the first 3 nautical miles offshore.

    Past that, they are supposedly jointly managed by the Feds and states.

    www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/oma1994188/s13.html

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