11/05/2004 - 22:00

Budget a duster for mining sector

11/05/2004 - 22:00

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WESTERN Australia’s hard rock exploration and mining sector has expressed deep disappointment at what some are calling a lack of long-term vision by the Federal Government in its 2004-05 budget.

Budget a duster for mining sector

WESTERN Australia’s hard rock exploration and mining sector has expressed deep disappointment at what some are calling a lack of long-term vision by the Federal Government in its 2004-05 budget.

The oil and gas industry, however, has welcomed the Government’s introduction of the petroleum resource rent tax (PRRT) designed to encourage petroleum exploration in Australia’s remote offshore areas.

WA’s hard rock exploration and mining industry had lobbied strongly for a number of incentives it hoped would address a serious decline in Australian mineral exploration activity.

The two key initiatives it sought in the budget were the implementation of a Flow Through Share scheme and an increase in funding for Geoscience Australia.

The budget contained nothing about an FTS scheme while Geoscience Australia will receive a miniscule increase of $194,000 over the next five years.

An FTS was seen as a way of attracting new investment to the sector, while higher funding for Geoscience Australia would have boosted pre-competitive scientific information in the hope of making more mineral discoveries.

The industry is concerned that without a funding increase Geoscience Australia’s mineral exploration program could be abandoned.

Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA chief executive Tim Shanahan said early examinations revealed the Federal Government’s apparent failure to address the serious decline in Australian mineral exploration activity was deeply disappointing.

He said exploration levels were 40 per cent lower than levels six year ago.

Association of Mining and Exploration Companies CEO Anne Arnold said the lack of support might not effect the industry in the short-term but it could have serious consequence in the long-term.

 

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