Labor must support mining industry with infrastructure

The Weatherill Labor Government must ensure it provides support to the entire mining industry, including providing the productive infrastructure that the industry requires. Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis has today outlined plans to develop a comprehensive long-term South Australian Copper Strategy.”While the State Liberals are supportive of today’s summit, it cannot be at the expense of other components of the mining industry,” said Shadow Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

“The fundamental issue that the mining industry keeps raising is the need for a plan for productive infrastructure.”

Labor promised to build a regional-based deep sea port in South Australia, but recent comments to Parliament from Minister Koutsantonis revealed that these plans are seemingly up in the air:

“We want to make sure that before we invest taxpayers’ money into a brand new deep sea port, that those commodities actually have a market to go to.”

(Hansard, 19/03/15)

“Building productive infrastructure will help the industry to thrive and support job growth,” said Mr van Holst Pellekaan.

“There has been a loss of 4,400 mining jobs since last November when the Government promised to create an extra 5,000 jobs in the industry.

“Indeed the collapse in employment in the mining sector in South Australia has been underway for the last 12 months with a 22.2 per cent fall in jobs over that period of time.“It’s time for Labor to start delivering on what it promised and provide the infrastructure that the industry needs.”