South Australia’s only Cabinet Minister, Penny Wong, has today demonstrated the Rudd Labor Government’s cavalier approach to the impact its new tax on mining would have on South Australian mining industry jobs, Senator Simon Birmingham said today.
It follows this morning’s release of a damning report by independent analyst Morgan Stanley.
“Morgan Stanley state that as a result of Labor’s new tax on mining the expansion of Olympic Dam would have ‘no economic value’ and ‘would be unlikely to proceed’,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“This follows statements by OneSteel’s chairman, Peter Smedley, that Rudd Labor’s great big new tax on mining ‘threatens the viability and hence the longevity of our steel business.’
“In question time today, Minister Wong demonstrated her contempt for thousands of current and future mining jobs in her home state of South Australia.
“Penny Wong clearly hadn’t even heard of the Morgan Stanley report and simply tried to dismiss this independent analysis as one of ‘numerous reports.’
“Instead of being so dismissive she should look into why there are so many reports demonstrating that investment in mining will dry up.
“Minister Wong refused to address the concerns regarding the future of the Olympic Dam expansion and refused to assure the people of Whyalla that OneSteel’s operations were not under threat.
“South Australians deserve to know how much damage the Rudd Government’s great big new tax on mining will inflict on our state and how many current or prospective jobs will be lost as a result.
“Instead of contemptuously dismissing the mounting concerns about South Australian investment and jobs losses, Minister Wong should actually stand up for her home state and the jobs of people who elected her.”