John Bowler

John Bowler

Former Minister for Local Government; Employment Protection; Racing and Gaming; Goldfields-Esperance and Great Southern

    Costello's Russian roulette approach to resources investment

    12/05/2006 5:42 PM

    Resources Minister John Bowler has slammed the Federal Government’s exclusion of a flow -through share scheme from this year’s Federal Budget.

    “Mr Costello is playing Russian roulette with the future of Western Australia’s mining industry,” Mr Bowler said.

    “The long term future of the resources sector is dependent on exploration and the Federal Government has to help unlock funding to discover the resources.

    “Mr Costello has ignored the representations of those within his own ranks, demonstrating a true arrogance for those who work to fuel the country’s economy.”

    The Minister said there was strong support from the mining industry nationally for flow-through shares and it was a great disappointment to the resources sector that the Federal Government had again ignored supporting the industry.

    “The State Government has invested an additional $12million into geological surveying, increased tenement sizes in greenfield areas, reduced the Native Title bottleneck and continues to invest in infrastructure to support the industry,” he said.

    “We are committed to infrastructure investment, spending $2,000 per person, compared with the Federal Government’s investment in WA at just $300 per person.”

    The introduction of flow-through shares was one of the key recommendations of the 2002 Ministerial Inquiry into Greenfields Exploration in Western Australia, chaired by Mr Bowler.

    Flow-through shares would allow retail investors the opportunity to invest directly in companies undertaking greenfields exploration and achieve a tax deduction for the amount invested, a scheme that recently received the support of the Australian Stock Exchange.

    The scheme was the main reason Canada had overtaken Australia in exploration expenditure.

    Mr Bowler said the Federal treasurer was living in a fool’s paradise if he thought the good times in the Australian mining industry could continue without finding new mines and the best way for that to happen was to encourage investment in costly exploration by providing the right financial incentives.

    Minister's office: 9222 9699