Gina Rinehart is an interesting lady. Written off as no more than an heiress riding on her prospector fathers coattails she has become the wealthiest (on paper anyway) person in Australia.
He father was the legendary Lang Hancock, the man whos company pretty well started Australia’s Iron ore mining boom.
It’s difficult to think, Australia at one stage actually had a ban on exports of Iron ore because the governments of the day believed we were short of the stuff. Lang and his co-workers proved up vast tracts of iron reserves, and the industry was started.
I admit myself to thinking Gina would turn out to be a passive, or unwise heiress, boy was that wrong. She spent millions fighting various court battles to keep her company together.
Now have a read of this speech she gave at the start of her new coal mine, its a pretty precise dressing down of the “looters” mentality.
“For the cost of building this trial mine alone, I could have bought myself a beautiful new private jet, But you’ve seen those trucks and shovels out there. Who would be paying the wages of these contractors if I had spent that on a luxurious private jet and two pilots?
“Indeed, for the further costs of paying my terrific staff working hard on these projects and the consultants’ studies for the pre-feasibility study and the bankable feasibility study and now value engineering, together employing hundreds of people, I could have dotting for myself one or two beautiful yachts like many of my friends have and employed six or more yacht crew and taken off.”
She was apparently a little sharp on the imposition of new taxes into Australian mining as well.
“Rinehart also attacked the “left-wing media” for suggesting she was being greedy and attacking the taxes out of self-interest when she could afford to pay more. She argues it is all about Australia’s ability to compete and that Canberra simply doesn’t understand this…”
Absolutely right, shes as rich as Croseus, she could stick every cent she has into government bonds and still be unable to spend the income. Instead she risks her capital and employs thousands of people.
Rinehart was certainly keen to explain her views to those who had travelled long distances to get to the Alpha mine site. The audience, which included her daughter and son-in-law, included potential clients and companies involved in the project as well as a smattering of federal and state opposition MPs. Queensland Premier Anna Bligh was represented by her Minister for Employment and Mines, Sterling Hinchliffe. No federal government minister was present
This just shows how intellectually cowardly this federal government is. So busy sucking up the arse of Bob Browns greens they wont attend the opening day of a major new employer which will generate massive income for the government and reduce unemployment.
She said the new tax policies — and the high costs of development and regulation — were the reason her wholly owned Australian company Hancock Coal would not be able to maintain as large an equity stake in the new projects as she had once hoped although it would still be “significant”.
Paging Bob Brown, a clue is waiting for you on line 1…. Dear old Bob was today wailing about how eeeeevil foreign corporations had large chunks of Australia’s minerals income diverted to them. The clue being, theres not a big enough pool of Australian capital to get such ventures up and running.
“Rinehart says Australia simply could not afford policies that deter exploration and investment.
“Despite these record prices, when our investment appeal and confidence should be at its highest, today’s policies have meant exploration is being discouraged and our exploration investment is back to 2003 levels. That is, pre-boom,” she says. “Where is Australian investment heading ? Offshore to the long-term detriment of our country and billions and billions of dollars being invested instead in West Africa, Brazil and elsewhere.”
According to Rinehart, Canberra doesn’t appreciate what is required to bring more investment and people to Australia’s north, including special tax breaks, few regulations and a welcome mat for overseas investment. Rinehart, with her father’s sense of determination and destiny, plans to use all her energy to change that equation.
More strength to her arm, I hope she continues to expose the bankrupt looters in Canberra for what they are, wankers playing with other peoples money.
Full text Of Ginas speech under the fold.
Original news story linked here
Sunday 26 June 2011
Thank you Tad for those very warm words of welcome
Distinguished guests and friends
Greetings and welcome and I’d also like to thank you all very much for attending this
historic occasion – the first export of coal from the Galilee Basin to the world.
Our company, a 100% Australian company, is very proud to get this major project, a
project of importance to Queensland and to Australia, to this stage. I am particularly
proud of our staff, some of whom are here from our headquarters in Perth, also from
our Brisbane office. May I ask our staff to stand up please? Could you please
continue to stand if you’ve worked many weekends and late nights since you’ve
joined us? Please keep standing. This is why a relatively small but growing
company is able to develop 4 major world class projects plus one with Rio Tinto, at
the same time, taking them from scratch or largely from scratch where minor drilling
was done by third parties. For those who may not know, it has recently been
reported that this is more major tier 1 projects than BHPB is currently advancing at
same stage. Each of our staff who’ve stayed with this demanding Chairman, can be
rightly proud of themselves for working so hard building these world class projects in
Australia, thank you! Please sit. May I ask for a round of applause for this team of
staff with great entrepreneurial spirit? Australia needs more entrepreneurs.
We have always known that with the size of these Queensland projects and
investment required to build initially 2 then 3 major mines, a rail of approximately 500
kilometres, and port facility and staff facilities, in addition to a major project in the
Pilbara also requiring new rail and port, plus our 50/50 interest with Rio where a
major new mine is currently under construction, we would need to encourage
investors to substantially invest with us.
The DVD now showing gives more idea of the massive scope of our Queensland
I have just been in Asia again during the last few weeks. If I may ask, have you
heard the term used “Australasia’ and if so could you please put up your hands? ….
Thanks. This is a term Australians use, the harsh reality though, is that this is not a
term the Asians readily use. We have to earn our place in Asia. We have to
continue to earn our position as a major trading partner with Asia, because I’ll tell you
something and that is, if our costs get too high in Australia, Asia will buy elsewhere.
Try to imagine where Australia would be if Asia chose to buy its iron ore and coal and
other commodities from the very extensive resources of coal and iron ore etc off
shore Australia? We all need to remind Canberra of this.
The first thing we should be telling Asia is, we value their relationship, we recognise
we need to be a part of “Australasia”, we will genuinely try to keep our costs down
and be competitive on the world market, and, we will drop the risk and expense of
carbon tax and MRRT.
The very next thing Australia should be doing is welcoming investment, because
investment can go elsewhere.
Just before I was in Asia I was in Queensland and during my visit to Queensland, the
President of Indonesia, was visiting India and being hosted by Reliance, one of
India’s largest companies. Why? Because the Indonesian President was wanting to
entice Reliance to invest some $4.5 billion to $5 billion in Indonesia to build 2 coal
Sunday 26 June 2011
mines, 2 rails and 2 ports to enable 50MTPA of thermal coal production and export in
competition with Australia, and was offering a welcome mat. As far as I know the
President wasn’t torn apart by the Indonesian media for such visit to India.
Approx $5 billion to enable 50 MTPA from Indonesia, more than 3 times this
investment is needed to enable 60 MTPA from very high cost Queensland. A really
big welcome mat should be out in Australia to entice investment here, not just for
coal but for other major projects too, important for Australia’s future. I am not
suggesting we ask tax payers to subsidise the difference between starting up
projects in lower cost Indonesia and higher cost projects in Australia, but welcoming
gestures like – “you want a bit of extra land for your employees in remote areas, yes,
how much would you like on a peppercorn rental?”
We should be saying, “We want you to put in billions of dollars for projects on
Australian soil, so we’ll contribute some minor amounts for shared facilities, e.g. for
tug harbours and helipads, and while you’re paying back banks, state government’s
taxes will be minimal and we won’t tax you for providing employment!”. We should
be saying “regulations, we’ll diminish that risk and expense”. Do you know how
many approvals, permits and licences this project needs before it can even produce
much needed revenue, it’s actually more than I advised last time when we held an
occasion to open this trial mine last year. We’ve now identified over 1,800 approvals,
permits and licenses are required! In USA I’m told that 75 approvals, permits and
licenses for major projects are considered ‘very onerous’. Let’s do something to
actually entice and welcome investment to Australia!
Politicians in Canberra, unless they’re from our north, forget that in the approx
northern half of our great country live some approx 5% of our people. The people in
our north have to deal with the heat for months of the year, dangerous cyclones,
dangerous snakes, lack of city facilities and many hardships. They are great people,
but they deserve breaks. Encouragement is also needed to bring more city dwellers
to our north. Tax breaks by way of meaningful rebates need to be enjoyed here to
encourage people to live here, special economic zones with less restrictions, need to
be implemented to encourage investment, we could and should see a vibrant
Northern Australia with an exciting “Go North Young Man” attitude.
We should certainly not be contemplating policies that ostracize us from
“Australasia”, indeed we shouldn’t be contemplating any worse policies than the
vibrant economies of the BRIC countries, Brazil, Russia, India and China have to
deal with. There is simply no place in Australia for policies that deter exploration,
investment and hard work. Not if we want our standards of living to be maintained or
improve. We live in a cost competitive world, profits are only temporary, Canberra
needs to recognise this.
What is really happening to investment for exploration in Australia, when daily we
read of high iron ore and coal prices and profits, some think this means we should
gut the industry. Despite these record prices when our investment appeal and
confidence should be at it’s highest, today’s policies have meant exploration is being
dis-encouraged in Australia and our exploration investment is back to 2003 levels,
i.e. pre-boom! Where is Australian exploration investment heading, off shore to the
long term detriment of our country, and billions and billions of dollars are being
invested instead in West Africa, Brazil and elsewhere. Again, Canberra needs to
Sunday 26 June 2011
And what are we seeing from Brazil, one of the BRIC countries, they are out there
with Vale leading the way with major investments in deepwater ports and giant
400,000DWT ships to enable lower freight rates and take away from Australia the
benefit we have enjoyed for decades of lower freight rates to Asian markets – this
benefit we have hidden Australia’s too high costs behind. I ask you again, does our
country need MRRT and Carbon Tax?
Does our country need additional costs imposed on thermal coal hence electricity
and every item which uses electricity?
Louder Canberra needs to hear you!
Does our country need excessive regulations, adding risks and delays to projects or
sending investment offshore?
Now left wing media doesn’t like me directing attention to the MRRT and Carbon Tax
and why they’re bad for Australia’s future, and argues I’ve already got enough money
and why should I dare to “greedily” advocate no MRRT and no Carbon Tax for my
“own self benefit”? I have worked very hard and I have looked after my children and
indeed my grandchildren too, I should just stop working and investing in Australia and
stop being concerned about the MRRT and the Carbon Tax and what is happening in
our competitive world. I have received not 1 cent for employing people over years to
enable our company to explore, study and put in the building blocks for this
Queensland project to enable it to progress towards development. As Tad
mentioned, for the cost of building this trial mine alone which you see today, I could
have bought myself a beautiful new private jet. But you’ve seen these trucks and
shovels out there, who would be paying the wages of these contractors if I had spent
that on a luxurious private jet and 2 pilots instead? Indeed for the further costs of
paying my terrific staff working hard on these projects and the consultants studies for
the pre feasibility study and the bankable feasibility study and now value engineering,
together employing hundreds of people, I could have gotten for myself 1 or 2
beautiful yachts like many of my friends have, and employed 6 or more yacht crew
and taken off.
But I’m pleased with my choices to invest instead in Australia, as I know I’ve done
something important for Australia’s future, with the projects we have built to date. I
am pleased that our Australian company group has led the way in exploring and
developing this Galilee Basin, leadership only possible given our large investments
and financial commitments to date. And I’ll let you in on a secret, this substantial
investment and financial commitments despite media reports have not been possible
due to after tax royalties! We couldn’t have made this investment and financial
commitment for the Galilee and also taken our major WA project through to BFS and
early works, without firstly starting our 2 iron ore mines at Hope Downs, and being
able to repay the banks.
Let’s make others want to invest in our country and let’s work for change to policies
limiting our north so that people want to live here and want to invest here too.
Speaking of investment again, you may have noticed the media reporting that I’ve
bought some land at Murray’s Bay on the coast for a private residence for myself and
will be able to enjoy some fishing from the beach in one of Australia’s most beautiful
Sunday 26 June 2011
The media are nearly correct, I have bought the land, but this very beautiful bay is
not for me to personally enjoy, it’s for our future port and rail staff, those who are
married couples, with or without families, and single women staff too. We want to
make this a project where staff enjoy being, and be part of our very special and
growing company culture.
May I ask Reuben Kooperman the designer and project manager to come forward
plus Mr. Nar from Korea South East Power Company, Mr. Bennett from Electricity De
France of Europe and Mr. Chen from Zhejiang Provincial Energy Company of China
to please also come forward, to officially display for the first time, Reuben’s designs
for staff facilities at this extraordinarily beautiful Queensland Bay just south of Abbott
Please draw the curtains
Thank you Reuben, and very touched the bay I was supposed to personally enjoy
living in, has been named after me!
Reuben please stay at the front.
I also have the great pleasure today to share something else in our projects’ future,
also assuming all 1,800 plus approvals, permits and licenses are timely granted! Our
planned Remote Operations Centre at Brisbane airport, so some families can stay in
their Brisbane and surrounding area homes, without the stress of “fly in fly out” and
being away from their families, friends, pets and city conveniences, together with the
additional safety ROC enables.
Also could Ginia and Ryan Welker and Tad please assist with officially opening
Reuben’s great ROC designs?
Reuben has kindly agreed to answer questions later if you wish to approach him.
Today is a great occasion, may I ask those already at the front to stay here, and may
I ask any members of Parliament, Mayors and customers who would like to join us
for some historic photo’s to please also come forward to join with us?
I’d now like to ask Paul Mulder, our MD Coal to give a 2 minute presentation of the
technical aspects of the trial mine, and while he is approaching the microphone, may
I especially thank some of our customers present today, Korea South East Power
Company of South Korea to where the very first shipment from the Galilee is going,
Electricity De France of Europe and Zhejiang Provincial Energy Company of China
for being present for the historical 1
export of coal from the Galilee. After this we
will let you finish your delicious lunch and later, after a major LOI signing and some
presentations to our customers present we can move to the look out point for the
historic export occasion.