Gordon Hill

Gordon Hill

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    Response to Chamber of Mines criticism

    20/01/1993 12:00 AM
     
     
    Mines Minister Gordon Hill says it comes as no surprise that certain elements within the Chamber of Mines favoured a return to the 'quarry' mentality in Western Australia.
     
    Mr Hill was responding to criticisms from chamber lobbyist Peter Ellery on ABC radio yesterday.
     
    Mr Ellery claimed the State Government did not understand the mining industry enough to run WA's biggest industry and that a coalition Government would be more supportive.
     
    Mr Hill said it was unfortunate that some members of the chamber would never be happy unless Government returned to the gung-ho attitude to mining the industry had enjoyed under previous Liberal Governments.
     
    "When this minority talks about 'supportive' government, I would suggest they would like it to mean no restrictions at all on their operations - a dream that has no place in the modern world where access to resources is important, but not with adverse environmental and social costs."
     
    Mr Hill said the reactionary elements in the chamber should take a leaf out of BHP's book and begin moving with the times.
     
    "The 'dig-it-up and ship-it-out' mentality is a dinosaur, it cannot survive in modern Australia," he said.
     
    "The mining industry, despite its complaints is still growing strongly in WA.
     
    "In 1991-92 it spent more than $330 million on exploration activity in WA, a $9 million increase on the previous financial year.
     
    "But the reality is that due to new, sophisticated technologies, jobs are not being created at the same rate.
     
    "The only way to achieve the sort of job growth the State needs to employ all those who want to work, is to move forward into downstream processing and manufacturing," he said.
     
    "This is where the bulk of the new jobs that will be needed over the next decade will come from - new jobs will not be created by doing what we have always done.
     
    "The Premier has a concrete, forward-looking plan.
     
    "The 'Adding Value' package will not only encourage existing industries to expand, but will target assistance to areas that create jobs."