Why is mining so unpopular?

From her newsletter:

Gina Rinehart has attacked the “negativity” she says the mining industry is regarded with, considering Australia couldn’t “survive” without it.

“For an industry that delivers so much, wouldn’t you think there would be just a little more understanding and less negativity for what mining contributes to our country?”, Rinehart said in a speech in Darwin on Saturday.

…”Mining is the largest earner of export income generating more than $200 billion in much-needed revenue for our country, a country in record debt”, she told the Mining and Related Industries annual lunch at the weekend.

“It provides jobs directly and indirectly for Australians including in places where there would otherwise not be work – and mining indirectly employs many people in so many important related businesses,” she said.

I couldn’t agree more. Australian mining is infinitely more useful than the parasitic economies of the east coast, which tend towards industries that piss the hard earned gains of mining, and other export sectors, against the wall. That’s not where the negativity springs from.

It comes from attempts to control the political economy through buying the media, suppressing fair taxes, rolling Prime Minsters etc.

In short, the unpopularity of mining come from it shaping the agenda in its own image, not the reverse.

Houses and Holes
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Comments

  1. Record debt? Ha ha ha ha ha! What about Roy Hill, what’s that then?

    Well I don’t agree with that mining is “infinitely” more valuable – in the least! Try and get a ship-full of dirt out without s/w managing the whole process from one end to the other….


    • Try and get a ship-full of dirt out without s/w managing the whole process from one end to the other….

      Indeed. Or visualise the ore body

      Or dig the stuff out of the ground without electrical cables

      Or charter the ship

      etc

      • Guys interesting that the software which manages the mining operations is so valuable- useful. The management of a mine is more important than the mine-ability of the resource.
        What has occurred is that the Aussie mines have developed software to manage nearly all aspects of mining and this software has been exported in various manners off shore, so that our competitors can manage a mine. Most offshore mines have significantly lower mine servicing costs than in Australia, think labour as a major component, and with the advantage of mine planning software, now are easily able to out compete us. We will never regain a competitive advantage in mining as the opposition with close access to markets, can in effect get the ore out for less cost. We have truly shot ourselves right through both steel capped boots. WW

      • This trend pre-dates software – we have been selling mining expertise and equipment to competitors who use it to beat us for decades. Not much alternative.

        Conjecture (with the benefit of a little knowledge) that software managing logistics from mine gate to hold of capesize is of nearly equal importance to software managing liberating minerals from the ground.

        That software will be sold next/ already is.

        Of course, no bullets or steel capped boots without the mining industry, so we’d have kept our toes if it wasn’t there.

      • @WW Exactly.

        I was offered positions and both RIO and BHP in Perth (not hard at the time – early 09) and went to two rounds of interviews – I could figure what was going to happen, the rest of the world was going to put into practice what these d#ckbags were throwing money mindlessly at. Pathetic. That’s why I hate the Australian mining industry, we come up with innovation but no one here picks up the ball, all the bringing the ideas to markets happen o/s because its just too easy here to do nothing and rise through the ranks.

      • Better luck next time Mig.

        You miss a key point. Miners like BHP and Rio operate globally. Where a piece of software or other technical innovation initially takes place is of no relevance (apart from occasional pr). Applications are applied wherever relevant, anyway in the world – and that is the benefit to the miners, global citizens as they are.

      • First of all I had no intention of staying in Perth so really I just wanted to get a gawk inside RIOs base up on St Georges. Pretty impressive actually.

        Secondly, what you said is irrelevant. If the local managers could see the value in what was being produced and pushed it up the line — like their foreign cousins did — Australia would have 2 industries. But no….

      • @Stat — Ha ha, obviously. But I meant two where once was one – like cellular subdivision 😀

    • darklydrawlMEMBER

      But isn’t that the point? I mean, seriously, Australia is Australia because of mining – it has been our primary source of wealth and continues to deliver. It has defined who and what Australia is.

      Many people are employed directly and indirectly because of mining money.

      Like it or love it, we are all living the first world dream because of mining.

      Education maybe part of the issue. There seems to be a large disconnect with portions of the population who don’t seem to understand that everything they use in their daily lives exists because of mining and hydrocarbons.

      If you haven’t seen it, I recommend you have a look at the ‘dirty business – how mining made Australia’ doco from SBS.

      http://www.sbs.com.au/dirtybusiness/

      Explains things rather well.

      • Sounds like an argument in favour of Nationalisation of all resources.

        Just like Defence, too important and strategic to be trusted to the market.


      • But isn’t that the point? I mean, seriously, Australia is Australia because of mining – it has been our primary source of wealth and continues to deliver. It has defined who and what Australia is.

        It’s exactly the point.

        If there’s anything that you want to be different in Australia in 2014, it has its origins in our reliance on mining, and that’s where change has to begin.

        If you love everything about Oz in 2014, then you have no need tow worry.

      • Thanks Gina for inheriting your father’s fortune, a fortune that was made by claiming the assets of a country (and the indigenous peoples’). Love you bae <3

      • Actually James, go back a bit further in to Lang Hancock’s history and make the connection with Wittenoom. Then you’ll really love Gina and her dear old dad even more!

        Special people this lot – growing fat on the capitalist principle of taking what you want and ignoring the interests of anybody or anything that has the misfortune of being in your way. So what with mining growing ever more important to our economy, it naturally gives me so much hope for the future that it will be fair and equitable for my children’s generation.

      • @aaron,

        Father Langley’s contributions to indigenous relations are just as special as his contributions to occupational health and safety.

        A truly exceptional Australian.

    • People revere mining because it produces something distinctly tangible. In this respect, we are operating on a subliminal ore-standard – a distant cousin of the gold standard. There is taken to be a kind of unspoken convertibility at work – AUD and IO are substitutes for each other. The more IO we can turn out, the more inherent value there is presumed to be in our AUD.

      But this is an illusion. We don’t use the IO in our own economy – for our own capital creation and consumption. We allow other economies to make free call on our reserves of IO. To a large extent, we don’t even supply the capital used to exploit these reserves so we don’t control the (transient) profits they generate. The only advantage to us of running an IO sector is that it allows us to lift our imports – to maintain our call on the production of other economies for some of their capital and consumption goods and services.

      But even this is overstated. The rise of the IO industry (because of the existence of an implied ORE-AUD standard) has been accompanied by the demise of a lot of other diversified exporters and import-competing firms.

      Because people presume this quasi-convertibility applies, we attach unwarranted significance to mining. We have over-committed to mining (to the capital creation and consumption of others) and under-committed to alternative productive sectors of the economy.

      It’s obviously very short-sighted to do this. The capital allocated to mining and its allied sectors must necessarily deplete along with the ore bodies themselves. In spite of the occasional boom, the tendency in mining is invariably for decreasing returns to scale to set in, leading eventually to capital repatriation, declining profits and exhaustion.

      Housing, of course, is not about investment at all. It is just about consumption, or, more exactly, the financialisation of consumption.

      We need to re-think capital. People act as if they think capital is gold or something like gold, such as IO or coal or LNG or copper. It isn’t. It’s much more complex than that. This is all a delusion.

      To re-boot this economy, we need to identify capital that is more like plastic than gold, more like labour (smart, creative, social) than like machinery; we need to produce more of it and we need to allocate it to industries that exhibit increasing returns to scale.

      None of this sounds like mining to me.

      • reusachtigeMEMBER

        A great read. Pity you wrote it so late last night and that many may have already moved on from this thread.

      • Don’t tell flawse he’ll crack it!!

        Of course if you’re going to invest in an industry mining should be your last resort. It leaves nothing useful behind and its miles from anywhere. The capital equipment of a factory or even data centre can be easily repurposed, WTF is anyone going to do with a rail line to a ditch???

  2. I never had a hero as a child but

    “I couldn’t agree more. Australian mining is infinitely more useful than the parasitic economies of the east coast, which tend towards industries that piss the hard earned gains of mining, and other export sectors, against the wall. That’s not where the negativity springs from.”

    I may have one as a adult.

  3. ”Mining is the largest earner of export income generating more than $200 billion in much-needed revenue for our country, a country in record debt”

    Let me make a huge assumption and suggest that she’s referring to our relatively small government debt, not our massive private debt.

  4. Australia’s own self-made Dad-made squillionaire, Sheila “The Bogan Billionaire” Whinehard wrote in her newsletter:

    You ungrateful wretches! Don’t you realize how keeping me the richest woman in the world is good for you! Where would this country be without my coal, which powers furnaces all over the world! I am personally responsible for about 40% of the CO2 that gets pumped into the atmosphere annually, without which we’d be in a new Ice Age! Next time you see me alight from my bullet-proof limousine, run up and kiss my feet, you plebeian filth!

  5. Don’t worry about what we insignificant peons think, Gina! Just keep lecturing us and manipulating the political process, we will fall in line!

  6. Gina Rinehart asks why the mining industry is so unpopular.

    The answer is in her mirror, if she would care to look.

    If the industry was run just by execs from BHP and Rio, together with Twiggy Forrest, no one would hate the mining industry. Unlike her they don’t go buying a stake in Channel 10 just to insist that the execrable Andrew Bolt has his own program, or try to take over Fairfax for ideological reasons.

    Rinehart is using her wealth to throw her ugly weight around, and to spread her own bullshit, which incredibly, she actually seems to believe.

    That’s why people hate the mining industry.

      • I don’t agree.

        Rinehart wants to control the only commercial non-Murdoch news that is left. That is much worse. And then there is her part in bankrolling all the climate change denialists. Mainstream mining execs won’t touch those people.

        For the mining execs who rewrote the tax rates it wasn’t ideological, it was just about money. And don’t forget they were only in the Cabinet room because Gillard invited them there, because she wanted a quick end to the shit sandwich that Rudd had left her.

      • From that link:

        In July 2010, Rinehart hosted a high-powered lunch at her Perth home in Western Australia and invited the state’s Premier Colin Barnett, the state’s environment minister Bill Marmion, the Chinese Ambassador to Australia Chen Yuming and a former prime minister of Japan. As the guests nestled in their seats for lunch, Rinehart handed the microphone over to Professor Plimer.

        Describing him in her speech as “one of the leading sources of reasoned and factual information in Australia on global warming and climate change” she didn’t mention that he has never published a single peer-reviewed paper on human-caused climate change or that genuine climate scientists have repeatedly pointed out his errors.

        The activist Lord Christopher Monckton is Rinehart’s other favourite denier of the risks of human-caused climate change. In 2010 she co-sponsored his Australian speaking tour and offered a member of her staff to co-ordinate the Perth leg of the tour. In 2011, she invited Lord Monckton back to deliver a lecture at the beginning of another Australia-wide speaking tour.

        Australia’s most prominent climate “sceptic” is News Ltd columnist Andrew Bolt, who also has his own shown on Channel Ten where Rinehart has a seat on the board and 10 per cent of the company’s shares (a shareholding she has recently increased).

        When asked by the ABC if she had played a role in securing the show for Bolt, her company dodged the question, stating only that “Mrs Rinehart hopes that should Mr Bolt’s time permit, that he would consider longer programmes on Channel 10”. Andrew Bolt was one of the media personalities which Lord Monckton has suggested could be given more air-time if the “super rich” could be encouraged to buy into the media.

        Close observers of Rinehart will know that her debunked views on climate science are not new. In a column that appeared in the May 2011 issue of Australian Resources and Investments Magazine, Rinehart wrote about her opposition to Australia’s carbon price legislation and a proposed tax on mining profits – both of which have now been passed into law. She wrote she was “proud” of Australians who were “not swayed by the global warming fear campaign”.

      • Mambo – Monckton is an intelligent and engaging individual. I was fortunate enough to attend a soiree where he was the special guest. I have a Plimer ‘s most recent book (signed) prominently positioned in my office – I suggest you read the chapter on energy.

  7. It’s pretty popular in my neck of the woods !

    Of course if the general populace understood the absolute importance of mining in every aspect of modern life perceptions would be vastly improved. Time to get to work on that one colleagues.

    Some negative distortion arise from fuzzy Green thinking – basket weaving via a tutorial on your laptop (just get the naif to understand what raw materials go into the laptop supply chain – from production to delivery – lots of marvellous mining there).

    As for political power, meh. Hardly any at all. Given the sector’s importance at the very least Federal Ministerial representation and mining states additional representation in the Senate.

    In Malcolm Turnbull’s launch of Garnaut’s Dog Days Turnbull noted the appalling design of the RSPT, how it was not understood by the Treasurer of the day and the ridiculousness of the claims of excess mining company power in opposing the tax – What? A few television commercials and a couple of press ads overrode the power of the PM/Government to dominate media space on the issue! No way. If miners had all this alleged power RSPT MRRT would never have seen light of day. Fortunately more reasonable voices held sway, even Labor now advises it is territory it does not intend to revisit.

    Mining Rocks!!

    • darklydrawlMEMBER

      “Of course if the general populace understood the absolute importance of mining in every aspect of modern life perceptions would be vastly improved.”

      Oh yes, Agree to that. Seen way too many folks carry on about this without ever seeing the irony in their argument. Ditto for Oil.

      They all seem keep to cease processing oil and metals, but none of them are prepared to give up their first world lifestyles (or volunteer for them or their children to be first in line to do the starving either). Hmmmmmm….

    • Yes, we understand the importance of the mining and the massive and timely Chinese government Keynesian stimulus, and thank our Chinese comrades for helping save our butts post the GFC, but it has also distorted our economy, crowded out other industries and could leave us very vulnerable in the short to medium term.

      • darklydrawlMEMBER

        Yes, but this is nothing new. It goes back to the very first days of (White) settlement in Australia.

        Mining hasn’t distorted our economy as such, Mining IS our economy and the nature of mining tends to be boom and bust.

        Perhaps it shouldn’t be this way, but that is how it always has been for the past 200+ years and there is every reason to suspect the foreseable future will be the same.


      • Mining IS our economy

        That being so, why do mining interests need to go to such lengths (buying newspapers, fixing elections) to stifle those who want to try out alternatives? Wouldn’t it be easier just to let us dream our futile dreams and laugh at the results?

    • Yes, we understand the importance of the mining and the massive and timely Chinese government Keynesian stimulus, and thank our Chinese comrades for helping save our butts post the GFC, but it has also distorted our economy, crowded out other industries and could leave us very vulnerable in the short to medium term.

  8. Her wealth has its origins in Wittenoom and she doesn’t understand why mining companies (cf. mine workers) are treated with suspicion?

    • And dont forget one Ms Julie Bishop who acted on behalf of James Hardie, against those dying from the effects of asbestos, really just a few years ago, but we seem to have forgotten. WW

  9. Perhaps because we see the foreign owners and oligarchs getting rich with nothing to show for it ourselves …

    • The mining investment boom has sustained the Australian economy for the past decade. A period which saw most non resource economies in dire strife.

      Anyone can buy shares in miners if they choose, as most superannuation funds do.

      • Mining is dominant in Australia to an extent that everything – good or bad – that has happened economically for at least the last decade is due to mining.

        The flip side is that any alternative vision requires less reliance on mining wealth, tantamount to less mining wealth to begin with.

      • “I say Nationalise, then all Australians get a piece”

        The problem is that we have all already had MORE than a piece. WE chose to sell the assets to fund our lifestyles – each and every damned one of us. It is the ultimatre hypocrisy now to talk about confiscating the assets of one section of industry – the only one that produces and damned thing

        Please read Darklydrawal’s comment above – that’s the essential truth here.

      • The terms of trade, unwillingness to fund non-mining investments, high wages etc. were not the choice of the other industries here, nor was being forced to give up non-mining customers in order to service mining customers.

        If someone opens a dam wall, what choice does someone else 200 metres downstream have about which way they’re going to move next?

      • Sure flawse software industry produces nothing NOTHING! it’s why you’re using a dump truck and not a Web browser to air your views right? Oh! Wait….

      • Stat – That’s the point. Those things have been the choice of all of us. Correct – not the choiuce of other INDUSTRIES but since when, to the modern Aus voter do industries matter. The only thing that matters is our ability to consume. That is the political and economic choice that has been made for six decades. It’s been our choice. Where we are now at is a direct result of our own self-entitled greed.
        To now sit on our arses and say ‘it’s all the fault of those nasty miners” just shows how shallow and nasty we have all become in pursuing our own self-interest above all else.

      • Mig – You can pick out individual stuff if you want. That’s your choice because you don’t want to face the essential argument.. The problems of the Software producers as a result of the over-valuation of the A$ is NOT the fault of mine production. I could write a book on the problems of rural industries that result from the over-valuation of the A$ over six decades.
        The essential truth of the matter is we, the Aus people, have chosen the path we have taken.
        We need to face our essential truths if we are going to make change in a way that will be in the long term intersts ofd the nation. Taxing miners to death while making no other changes to our lifestyles and habits will just make everything worse.

      • It hasn’t been our choice. Gina fixed the result.

        The sharp rise in distrust of politicians in Australia should also give some indication of the extent to which the community at large is behind the choices made on their behalf.

      • And not taxing miners appropriately will result massive distortion to investment, like housing!

        Look at all the other first world nations that have a large mining sector, Australia looks nothing like that! We look a third world resources pimp

      • darklydrawlMEMBER

        “Look at all the other first world nations that have a large mining sector, Australia looks nothing like that!”

        Ummm… Like Canada? We look a lot like that actually… Even managed our own housing bubbles each too.

      • Really Darkly? Then why does Canada have a MASSIVE pharma industry that sell world wide? Why does Canada have a MASSIVE s/w industry that sells world wide? Why does Canada have a MASSIVE tech industry that sells world wide? Why does Canada have a MASSIVE fin services industry that sells world wide?

        The Australian economy looks nothing like Canadias, housing bubble not withstanding…

      • That same software is what runs the financial industry and is an enabler to more criminal anti social behavior than you can imagine mig-o.

        Skippy…. perps can hide behind the firewall it presents, propriety code its the argument for not allowing forensic analysis. Just saying.

      • So force the use on open source s/w components when trading with exchanges and make ALL the data available ALL the time.

        I have no zero problems with that. Did I mention s/w is a human/tool user problem? Until the human is taken out of course…

      • You can’t take the human out of software, but, you can take out the risk some humans wish to absolve themselves of.

      • I’d argue the rest of the economy was strangled to make way for the mining boom and housing. The politicians, RBA, Treasury etc bought that one hook, line and sinker.

      • Wing ….Evidence?

        The simple FACTS, despite the irrational emotive claptrap that abounds here, is that while the rest of the economy, sans farmers import competing industrials and a few others. has arranged an absolute boom for itself while the mining boom went on. Even the enormous boost in income sustained by the increase in prices provided by the China effect was not enough for the Aus public and consumers. We had to have more…and more….and more…..

        So at the end of it all we own more junk than ever before and are deeped in debt than ever before. We CHOSE the policies of even higher negative RAT interest rates and no REAL savings. We CHOSE to end up with an economy even more directed to consumption than ever before. We CHOSE top sell off HUNDREDS of BILLIONS worth of businesses, mines and farms (our childrens’ future) in order that we can drive the latest 4WD SUV or Beamer or whatever the hell.

        They are ALL choices we have made one form or another. That is the sort of society we have created that doesn’t give a rat’s arse about its children. What good does it do to then go out and villify the group that gets off its arse while the rest of us sit in air-conditioned offices in Sydney and Melbourne arranging the economy to suit ourselves?
        What about our society does this sort of irrational hatred of one group fix?
        Why aren’t we directing some REAL:passion at some of the real villainns? There is a bit of mouthing off in here about Banks but few suggest confiscation of theior income and assets.
        Where is the call from HnH et al for that? Where is the call for the confiscation of the assets of the overpaid Public Servant heads? Where is the call for the confiscation of the ill-gotten gains of all teh heads of the Quangos.
        There isn’t!

        This is all just hypocritical bullshit!

      • Who the fuck is this “we” you keep talking about flawse?? I sure as fuck didn’t vote for this shit and I don’t have a fucking mcmansion with two jetskis you fucking arrogant douche! Your mine workers on the other hand…
        Idiot.

  10. wtf, couldnt agree more? Gina Rinehart’s dad got rich from pillaging the Australian countryside. She owes Australia, the indigenous Australians and the Australian people more than we owe HER. Are you kidding me David? If I had it my way I’d expropriate her assets for the good of the nation, then I would say thank you Gina

    • Yup and all her dad did that was “special” was fly a plane. With today’s tech we can find deposits by data mining sat images, we can send exploratory robots there to sample the place, then with minimal human input we can setup an automated extraction. Why should any human being profit ahead of others in that scenario? Resources are important, that’s why they shouldn’t have owners…

      • Interestingly the plane story seems to be a lie, but no one (except maybe one of Hancock’s daughters) seems to know why.

      • Curiously I kinda agree with your last point. Resources are essential in almost every aspect of modern existence. They are of universal importance; of value to every citizen on the planet.

        Mining companies should be global free agents able to extract resources wherever they exist, subject only to best practice procedures and acceptable environmental restrictions.

        Individual governments and populations they represent no longer beneficiaries of ‘accident of birth’ and thereby free to pursue economic development unburdened by the weight of resources – resources which are extracted by miners and disseminated across the globe according to need.

      • Well 3d as long as mining companies are 100% robotic with no owners and no workers I’m fine with that…

      • “Individual governments and populations they represent no longer beneficiaries of ‘accident of birth’ and thereby free to pursue economic development unburdened by the weight of resources – resources which are extracted by miners and disseminated across the globe according to need.”

        Sounds like utopia to me.

        Let me guess, the mining companies themselves would be the arbiters of what constitutes “best practice procedures and acceptable environmental restrictions”?

        And they’d also be judge and jury (but certainly not executioner) of whether those procedures and restrictions were being followed correctly?

        Luckily Abbott and Robb are now including ISDSes in many of our trade agreements so we’re heading in the direction that you wish.

      • Yes. I think so.

        ‘Operating in the Arctic is challenging, whatever industry you’re in. But mining firms have already made many of the mistakes, and learnt many of the lessons, that lie ahead of the oil, gas and shipping industries. Before these mistakes are repeated by others, mining representatives must step up to facilitate the sensible economic development of Earth’s northernmost latitudes.’

        Miners must step up to facilitate the sensible economic development of Earth’s resources. Full stop. Leave politics aside.

        http://theconversation.com/why-mining-companies-might-be-the-arctics-best-hope-34382

      • F Me! You lot have all the answers sixty years later. I wonder how many of you have really done some yards out in the dust and heat that you are able to sit in self-righteous pontification?

        As to Gina i guess her life could have been a lot easier, and m ore profitable, if she’d sold off all her mining intersts to foreigners and just put uip dodgy high rises in Sydney. Gina is amongst the few Australians who have been prepared to risk money in this mining development. Nearly all the rest has been sold to foreigners. Yet we pillory her?

        Again, this is just bullshit!

      • You’re off your rocker flawse, seriously! First off I’ve done lots of hard yards in lots of conditions, I’m willing to bet more than you and sure as hell more than Gina! Why don’t you tell me how great Tinkler is while you’re here?

        Oh but YOU have all the answers, cut imports to 0! Genius! Why don’t you start off for us mate? Never buy a
        Imported product again starting with petrol?

  11. I agree. The mining industry crossed the line when they went from whinging about mining taxes, to trying to influence the macro debate. That means the idiotic commentary they have provided on wages, the currency, ToT projections, fiscal policy, the benefits of a SWF. They’ve got no right (or expertise) to participate in these debates but that hasn’t stopped them.

    • Sweeper – Remember what was proposed was the effective confiscation of all mining assets. Effective 75% tax on any profits higher than the long term bond rate – FFS.
      That is just confiscation of assets that have been established in great uncertainty of a very long time frame – as in multi-decades – that’s what it takes to establish a project.

  12. “suppressing fair taxes, ”
    Tripe!
    There was not a single thing fair about that tax!!!!

    1. We get people to invest in projects that take decades to bring to any furition at all. They invest under the Laws of the land re tax etc. Everyone in the nation is able, if they wanted and were encouraged to, invest in teh projects according to how they see the future. ‘How we see the future’ – That’s the RISK. Then effectively, because these people have invested long term with the idea that one day commodities might become valuable, when those commodities do become valuable we want to confiscate the assets of those investors with a sectoral tax that does not apply to another individual or entity in the entire nation.

    This whole anti-mining argument in here is absolute and total baloney. Moining is NOT the problem for the rest of the country. Through the mining boom we have continued to run CAD’s so mining is not the CAUSE of the over-valuation of the A$. The over-valuation is caused by the capital flows.We wanted them! We NEEDED them to maintain our lifestyles. We DEMANDED them of our politicians. That is a policy choice we made so we could continue to over-indulge ourselves at the expense of our childrens’ welfare.
    The problem for the rest of the country is ‘the rest of the country’.

    • Ok. So if the currency overvaluation was caused by hot money inflows and not the mining boom, why would the industry go out of their way to mock a SWF – a policy which if implemented correctly would push back against the capital inflows and resist the upward pressure on the currency?

      • Sweeper

        We have been over and over this damned thing so many times yet everyone just retreats to their own claptrap.
        You cannot create a SWFto invest in overseas assets that doesn’t just create more damage while you are running a CAD. It just doesn’t work! The maths don’t work. How does it push back on capital inflow when it results in more people overseas are holding more A$ with which to buy assets here.

        We have to control both the speculative capital inflows but also thre investment inflows. However we have to understand in order to do that we will need to make substantial sacrifices. naturally the first thing will be considerably higher interest rates.
        We are not willing ta face that. We prerfer this ignorant attack on a particular group of people and industry.

        WHY does everyone just abjectly refuse to even contemplate the elephant in the room. Over and over and over the point is made that the speculative flows, underpinned by our willingness to flog every business and asset in the land to foreigners, is at the core of our problems. There is never any rational anti-argument. What we get is the repetition of the same tripe about ‘evil’ miners. frankly some of the attacks in here are just a disgrace and terms are used that should never be used in any, even pretence, of rational discussion.

        Hyperbole rules as rational argument.

      • The maths do work. There has been a heap of confusing and actually misleading commentary on this topic. Which is unfortunate, because now, following a 10 year or so mining investment and consumption boom (pre-GFC) we have no SWF – the only, repeat the only policy which could and should have been adopted.

        A SWF does not lead to more AUD in FX markets. It leads to the same qty of AUD in FX markets, just at a lower exchange rate. If financed by counter-cyclical budget surpluses the SWF forces the BoP to equilibrate at a lower real exchange rate which means a narrower or positive trade and ultimately CA balance. That is how it works.

        It doesn’t even matter whether the official aim is to lean against appreciation. The result is the same. The mining industry mocked the idea because in their narrow view of the world they thought it might encourage politicians to raise mining taxes. The two were never linked.

        Even if there were no mining investment boom; Say we had a continuing out of control consumption boom like we had in 2005. A SWF may still have been an appropriate tool if it was judged that raising interest rates would primarily slow growth by hurting tradeables. The mining industry’s influence on the SWF debate has been contemptible.

      • Sweeper that is just a load of non-sensical crap. The restatement of a falsehood over and over again does not make it true!

        Unless you fundamentally reform your economy then the simple establishment of a SWF, while maintaining the negative RAT IR’s, consumption economy, and resulting NEED for both investment and speculative short term capital, then the SWF DOES simply provide more funds overseas to buy up Australian assets.

        To argue that spending A$ to buy overseas assets doesn’t result in more A$ in overseas accounts available to buy Aus assets is just plainly and simply irtrational….at best!

      • Unless you fundamentally reform your economy then the simple establishment of a SWF, while maintaining the negative RAT IR’s, consumption economy, and resulting NEED for both investment and speculative short term capital, then the SWF DOES simply provide more funds overseas to buy up Australian assets.

        So why does it work for Norway and South Korea?

        Norges Bank said it would leave its benchmark interest rate at 1.5%, where it has been since March 2012. All analysts polled by The Wall Street Journal had expected that outcome.

        Explain that?

        http://online.wsj.com/articles/norways-central-bank-leaves-interest-rates-unchanged-as-expected-1403167622

        Foreign investors may generally own real property, though ownership of certain real assets is restricted. Companies must obtain a concession to acquire rights to own or use various kinds of real property, including forests, mines, tilled land, and waterfalls. Foreign companies need not, however, seek concessions to rent real estate, e.g. commercial facilities or office space, provided the rental contract is made for a period not exceeding ten years. The two major laws governing concessions are the Act of December 14, 1917 and the Act of May 31, 1974.

        http://www.state.gov/e/eb/rls/othr/ics/2011/157338.htm

        Go on. Explain why whats happening in Norway can’t actually happen. Go on…

      • Flawse, Had it occurred to you that a SWF financed via countercyclical budget surpluses is in fact “a fundamental reform”?

        “To argue that spending A$ to buy overseas assets doesn’t result in more A$ in overseas accounts available to buy Aus assets is just plainly and simply irtrational….at best!”

        No it isnt. This is the biggest problem I’ve got with the whole argument. The BoP is an equilibrium. Under a floating currency system – where the equilibrating mechanism is not CB accumulation or sales of FX reserves – the qty of aussie dollars in fx markets doesn’t change.

        Unless the cash rate is 0%, a policy which deliberately increases domestic saving relative to domestic investment demand has to lead to a net capital outflow (if capital is mobile – which it is in Australia). This simultaneously lowers the real exchange rate and changes the relative demand of exports to imports. In other words the BoP is squared at a lower exchange rate.

        It seems like you are looking for any reason to make the problem negative RAT interest rates.

      • Yeah but income tax can go up and f#ck you worker chump right?

        FFS You are just f…g moron aren’t you! You don’t read! You don’t think! You can’t put an argument together! You just utter mindless slogans. What a great contribution you make to every debate!

      • Oh but your contribution is fantastic! Save miners at all costs because I say so. Explain to me why you can change income tax structures but not royalties. Go on, you’re so clever it should be easy as…

    • I still say Nationalise!!! Could be real vote winner !

      Just for the look on Gina’s face alone, when all her stolen assets were ripped back away from her.

      Should have happened when she made that “I can get African labour for $2 per day” call.

      • Cheap labor from Africa, eh?

        Hmm, I wonder how much it costs her to buy the votes of the LNP party? You know she’s doing that, don’t you? ❓

      • “Cheap labor from Africa,”

        We couldn’t possibly have a go at a bit of truth and put that comment in its proper context?

    • darklydrawlMEMBER

      If you want to share directly in the mining wealth (Oh, don’t forget the excitment of the risk too, there is plenty of risk in mining) then you can invest directly any of the publicly listed companies.

      All you need is an online brokerage account (plenty of decent free ones) and about $550 in cash to get started with.

      Of course, we are already living it large and sharing the mining wealth around and have been for 200 years. You wanna see your tax bill if the miners stopped paying taxes and royalties? Very fugly indeed.

      • Mig – You can do that. However you will have no mining. Perhaps tell teh Aus people the truth of what that is going to look like – Oh that’s right to you it’s OK because we can just sell teh foreignjers all our houses so none of our young people can buy them.

        You need to start dealing with facts and leave out the stupid one liners.

      • darklydrawlMEMBER

        “what if ALL the mining profits went to tax?”

        Well, that’s an easy one. We’d have no mining at all as no-one (including yourself I suspect) is going to pony up the dollars (usually years / decades in advance) with zero chance of a return.

        Despite what folks think, these businesses are not out there blasting rocks and hauling dirt for fun. They are trying to make their money back and then some. And why not – it is exactly what nearly all of us are trying to do.

        ROI is exactly why there is gobs of precious metals still laying around in the ground. The cost of extraction and risk profile doesn’t add up. It probably will one day, but you need to get all those duck lined up first.

        Miners pay their legal tax obligations – and often more than companies like Google and Apple, why is mining companies making money such problem? Trust me, it is a much bigger problem for Australia when they are NOT making coin.

        It’s funny, most of the time I cringe when Gina speaks, but this time she has a point.

        I can tell you now, if this place shut up all mining tomorrow most of the folks here wouldn’t like the result. We are going to get close enough to this over the next 5 years or so anyway.

        Watch this space.


      • I can tell you now, if this place shut up all mining tomorrow most of the folks here wouldn’t like the result. We are going to get close enough to this over the next 5 years or so anyway.

        That’s the whole reason we shouldn’t have opened quite so much in the first place.

      • Wait wait wait! So mining is suuuupppeeerr important but it’s a guaranteed bust industry which has nothing to do with the actual management of the industry? And we put all our hopes in that? Genius! I mean why we would want to produce pharma that NEVER EVER has a boom- bust cycle? Nope let’s triple down on mining.

      • Stat – Yes! WE opened quite so much. that’s the point. There was no need to sell every damned mine off to foreigners (bar the pilloried Gina) We could have had higher interst rates, less consumption, less RE speculation and wealth, more productive enterprises everywhere….if we were all prepared to consume a bit less and save and invest in comparatively risky enterprises.

        That is NOT what we chose. Now you all want mining taxed out of existence – bloody hell! Great solution to ALL our problems…NOT!

    • Over and over and over the point is made that the speculative flows, underpinned by our willingness to flog every business and asset in the land to foreigners, is at the core of our problem

      What on Earth do you think mining booms are for crying out loud?!?!?!!!!

      • Investment in mining is NOT a specualtive flow!!! That’s your problem. You are such a pinhead you can’t tell the difference between a multi-decade very risky resource development and a spec flow chasing higher IR’s and exchange rate.

  13. Here’s a reason:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-23/mining-company-faces-charges-of-illegal-land-clearing-in-qld/5903976

    The Department found that about 800 metres of road, estimated to be at least 50 metres wide in places, had been built outside the mapped reserve where the road was supposed to be.

    The ABC contacted the managing director of Goondicum Resources, Mark McCauley, about the Department’s findings.

    “What we did wrong was we didn’t have the appropriate approval for the 900-metre realignment,” Mr McCauley said.

    “We should’ve waited for the approval, or put the road on the existing road reserve, or we should have obtained vegetation clearances.”

    “Yeah, look, we know we shouldn’t have done that but, hey, fuck you suckaz.”

    • Now we have the arm-chair Sydney resident who wouldn’t know one tree from another the instant expert on the tree clearing issue.
      So also, in case one company did clear a few trees without permission that’s an inditement of the whole mining industry?
      There probably are reasons to criticize some mines or lots for all io know on various environmental issues from our Sydney/melbourne do nothing make nothing societies. But can’t we have some attempt at rationality here.

      • reusachtigeMEMBER

        I hate trees anyway, especially the native ones. They drop so much sh1t in my pool. I feel like chopping them down and showing them who’s master… “this’ll teach you to sh1t in my pool !!”
        .
        And don’t get me started on the fkn pesky birds at 4am. Where is my gun!!!???

      • Now we have the arm-chair Sydney resident who wouldn’t know one tree from another the instant expert on the tree clearing issue.

        As I have said numerous times before, and as you never pay attention to because it runs contrary to your worldview, I don’t live in Sydney, nor do I have any desire to.

        Further, I’m not claiming any expertise on tree clearing whatsoever. Indeed, the tree clearing is incidental to the real point.

        The point is the mining company effectively saying ‘yeah, we knew this was breaking the law, but we did it anyway. What are you going to do about it ? [and fuck you and your stupid laws]’.

        So also, in case one company did clear a few trees without permission that’s an inditement of the whole mining industry?

        No, it’s one reason, like I said at the beginning.

        But can’t we have some attempt at rationality here.

        Given your unfailing and undying support for the mining industry, regardless of any other factors, you’re in no position to judge anyone else on rationality on this topic.

  14. “It comes from attempts to control the political economy through buying the media, suppressing fair taxes, rolling Prime Minsters etc.”

    What the?!….

    Yeah those things suck no doubt, but what about the fact that Australia’s natural endowment of resources, which belong to us all, have been hived off and essentially privatised??

    Gina’s wealth is really our wealth. That’s why no-one respects her. I’d say that’s where the hate comes from.

    • Our wealth? How so?
      The fact that Gina is actually an Australian I guess makes that true to an extent. Why just Gina who is actually Australian. This whole stupid bitter EXTREMIST load of bullshit in this thread has been aimed at Gina – the oner successful Australian. Not a single comment aimed at any of the foreign owned and controlled companies.
      The fact that we have CHOSEN to sell all tehse assets to foreigners for OUR own consumption hasn’t raised a comment from anyone! The fact that we WILL NOT save and postpone consumption to own and develop our own nation TOTALLY escapes comment in favour of some stupid irrational bitter diatribe against Gina

      Oh Macrobusiness is really reraching great heights of economic discussion!
      FFS!
      Bloody fascinating!

      • What I really like abut Gina is the way that she has structured Roy Hill so that the project execution risk has been handed off to Samsung. They in turn extracted their pound of flesh from the sub contracts so that in the end analysis project execution efficiency is returning to large scale IO Mining.

        Seems to me that it would have been easier to go the FMG route but maybe I’m just finding good when the reality is that she was just late to the party who knows.

      • Yes Oligarchs are exactly who we should praise — if they borrow offshore and flood the place with foreign credit so much the better…

  15. A few other reasons why the mining industry is not popular. MCA, Mitch Hooke, its advertising grease, Mainly, however, its too smart by half dealing with Australian citizens. Australians feel done over and they won’t forget.

    • So apart from it giving us Lang Hancock, Gina Rinehart, destroying what was left of our manufacturing industry, stifling our software industry, stomping on the remains of our democracy, and treating Australian citizens of all ages in every locale with condescending contempt, there is absolutely no reason to dislike the mining industry.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Well, it did make more of us aware that greed and excess aren’t nice attributes.

        Quite a few did miss the message though.

      • It made it so very clever and good looking folk could borrow money cheaply and use it to bid up housing, and thus become even more clever and good looking.

        Of course, you’re all just jealous of them, as you are of Gina (she’s clever and good looking too, plus her kids love her).

      • there is absolutely no reason to dislike the mining industry.

        Stat again – all this thread is doiung is reinforcing the stupid, the irrational, the extremism and the envy.
        If comments were rational about rates of development in the face of rahter less consumption, more saving, more investment, but lower living standards meanwhile then let’s have that.
        But this bullshit of ‘blame it all on the miners’ not only gets us nowhere but will lead in the furhter decline of standards and economic wellbeing in our society.

      • If comments were rational about rates of development in the face of rahter less consumption, more saving, more investment, but lower living standards meanwhile then let’s have that.

        Which cohort has conspicuously spent more and saved less in the last decade than city-types who ran off to the mines on FIFO? Who flawse, who??? Who spent more on imported crap than those who went from a paypacket of $50/60k to $200k without needing a more than a two-day orientation?

        You’re full of it!! The savers in this society are the doctors, the engineers, the accountants, the boring middle-class and we get [email protected] coming and going by both the mining oligarchs and the city-centric rent-seekers, so until you figure out a way that the productive and pecuniary middle-class gets a leg up against the bogan-hords and their jetskis and 3 family trips a year ( I still haven’t taken ANY holidays this year except for the public holidays — and even then I worked Easter Monday) I don’t wanna hear about how great FIFOs are for society!

      • I’m totally fine with less consumption, which I think will lead to better enjoyment of whatever living standard results.

        The whole point for me is that wherever there was an opportunity to say no to the mining boom, the housing boom, Australia’s pseudo-prosperity, I said no, and got exactly what I didn’t choose anyway.

        Just like the housing boom, the effect has been to reduce the choices available.

        Rates of development will slow going forward, and all mining booms come to an end. This was known before and during the boom. It is entirely rational to want to slow the boom while promoting non-mining activities in order to have a more prosperous post-boom.

      • Lol, Mig – got a little chip on your shoulder there mate?

        Graduate UWA early days of the mining boom – with the wrong degree…coulda been with the big boys pulling $300k+ for a decade or so – holidays, international business trips and euphoric workplace atmosphere, boom baby boom.

        Or coulda been a tradie, headed north, worked half the year and still have pulled $180k+.

        Look on the bright side. Your day has finally come. Boom is winding down and there you are safely ensconced in Sunny Melbourne, secure job, writing gobbledegook day in day out, at last content your career choice was the right one. Those niggardly voices will mute! Every dog has its day.

    • Yup, once enough of the hiviz crowd get laid off, they’ll be taking a good hard look at why; assuming they have the spare time considering the hoops they’ll be forced to jump through to get the dole.