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Industry has its say

— they’re telling us

— Association of Mining and Exploration Companies George Savell, Chief Executive Officer

— “AMEC has been closely monitoring the events of 2001 and has come to the conclusion the downturn over the past four years in minerals exploration appears to be coming to an end. There has been an attitudinal change, largely driven by the fact that investors who have been following IT and biotech stocks appear to be coming back to the more solid proposition of minerals exploration as part of their risk portfolio. AMEC is of the view 2002 will see recovery in the exploration industry, and recent discoveries have given impetus to that belief.”

— Australian Aluminium Council

— David Coutts, Executive Director

— “The Australian aluminium industry is poised on the brink of major expansion, providing the national policy settings are right. The Light Metals Action Agenda locks in place a long term vision for Australia to take up the opportunities emerging for greater use of light metals (aluminium, magnesium and titanium) as a key part of the global response to environmental pressures. The growth in the aluminium industry is not automatic, however, and there are many competitors around the world. The key challenges will be a national energy policy that continues to see Australia deliver world competitive energy, a greenhouse policy that recognises the importance of these industries for Australia and does not impose costs out of line with competitors, which are mainly outside the Kyoto Protocol, and a sustainable development framework that recognises the innate advantages of these materials.”

— Australian Gas Association

— Bill Nagle, Chief Executive

— “The Australian Gas Association had a very productive year in that we were instrumental in ensuring the natural gas benefits message was picked by the Prime Minister and State Premiers when they endorsed the need to develop a national energy policy. The CoAG Communique acknowledged the flexibility, environmental and indigenous supply credentials of natural gas and directed the policy process to remove barriers to future gas market and infrastructure growth.”

— Australian Gold Council

— Greg Barns, Chief Executive Officer

— “The Australian gold industry will continue to be a major contributor to our nation’s wealth and economic and social infrastructure in spite of the increased foreign ownership. Australia is part of the global mining industry and it is important to recognise that the presence of financial capital will provide an opportunity for smaller companies in our sector to joint venture and to access some of that capital.”

— Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association

— James Pearson, Director WA NT & Productivity Improvement

— “The challenge is to find more oil and use more gas. The gap is growing between the amount of oil we produce in Australia and the amount we consume. Governments should encourage exploration by simplifying access to resources. Our huge gas fields offer competitively priced, environmentally friendly energy for power generation and feedstock for industry.”

— Australian Pipeline Industry Association

— Allen Beasley, Executive Director

— “We’ve seen major cracks appear in the future of the WA gas industry and a shadow cast on the future of pipelines in WA. This is reflected in legal challenges to what the industry sees as unsound regulatory decisions. The APIA finds these developments very disturbing in the context of WA’s gas development agenda.”

— Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WA)

— Lyndon Rowe, Chief Executive

— “As with the Asia recession, our wise reforms of the 90s saved WA from faring much worse in 2001, in spite of the many corporate shocks and share market crises, the consequences for business of September 11 and the disruption at home of two elections. Next year should see Australia in a cyclical climb. However we have some concerns about where the Gallop Government might take WA with its proposed rollback of labour market reforms which does not augur well for employment or economic growth.”

— Pastoralists and Graziers Association of WA

— Barry Court, President

— “This has been one of the most diverse seasons we’ve ever had – drought at the beginning and then floods to finish. For some – in the north Kimberley - it’s been the best season ever, while others can’t get their harvest in. The markets are the best ever, so it’s quite disappointing for some. The biggest issue has been property rights - adequate compensation for land and more security for land titles, but we’re pleased with the Federal Election. The PGA 2002 wish-list includes continued progress by the Federal Government via the World Trade Organisation for trade access for Australian produce on just terms.”

— Wine Industry Association of WA

— Denis Horgan, President

— “The Wine Industry Association of Western Australia is far stronger today than it was a year ago. Industry threats are the lack of export marketing support from the State Government and the iniquity of the Federal Wine Equalisation Tax. Significant challenges for producers are:

— 1. the urgent development of export markets.

— 2. enhancement of wine tourism activities.

— 3. further improvement in quality, as this factor alone gives Western Australia producers their main competitive edge.

— 4. the gaining of a better political understanding of the iniquities of the Wine Equalisation Tax and its ramifications.

— 5. a trimming of costs, for there are storm clouds on the horizon.”

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