Hancock Prospecting's chief development officer, John Klepec, has hit out at the federal government's treatment of business in Australia while accepting the top award at Diggers and Dealers on behalf of Gina Rinehart.
Hancock was named Dealer of the Year for the second time at the mining conference's gala dinner last night, after securing four equity investors to back its Roy Hill iron ore project in the Pilbara.
Mr Klepec accepted the award on Mrs Rinehart's behalf, and took the opportunity to voice the company's displeasure towards government policy, echoing criticisms first aired by Queensland Senator Barnaby Joyce.
“As Senator Joyce recently stated: 'The theme of this government is becoming clear; if it is open, shut it; if it is saved, spend it; and if it is not saved, borrow it',” Mr Klepec told delegates at Diggers and Dealers.
“This policy approach has been delivered to the Australian public draped in a smoke screen of old-style ‘class war’ antagonism towards business, especially the mining sector and its leaders, such as Mrs. Rinehart.”
“As Mrs. Rinehart says, 'It is time to stop the smoke screen of this divisive class warfare and get on with building projects to help Australia get out of its record debt. Let’s get back to our roots – the roots that built this country and enabled jobs and revenue and opportunities'.”