The West

Bureaucrats told to get out of the way

The outgoing chairman of Australia's most important mining conference has urged the industry to keep pressure on governments to remove red and green tape.

Barry Eldridge, who hands over the Diggers & Dealers chairmanship to Regis Resources chairman Nick Giorgetta, said it was imperative the industry pushed for regulatory reforms and their implementation.


"If we do not actively focus on this, it will be easy for this issue to be a good idea that does not actually evolve into substantial change," Mr Eldridge said in his conference opening address this morning.

"My experience is that the bureaucrats will fight removal of approval processes as hard as they can and their system is well designed to inhibit real change.

"After all, putting hurdles in the way of progress is what builds a bureaucracy and we cannot let them stop change that has been needed for the last 30 years.

"That is as important as anything we have focused on in recent times."

This Diggers & Dealers conference, which is dominated by delegates from the gold sector, comes amid increased pressure on the industry to protect its profit margins and a State Government review into whether an increase of the gold royalty rate is appropriate.

The fight against a gold royalty hike is set to be the industry's most active campaign since it battled Kevin Rudd's mining super profits tax.

Mr Eldridge said "more than ever, Australia needs a robust resources industry".

"Those narrow-minded politicians who remain committed to acting as though the resources industry is an enemy of Australia should just get out of the way and let us get on with developing our nation's resources assets for the benefit of all," he said.

"Through encouraging major investment, creating employment opportunities, developing new technologies and paying income taxes as strong corporate citizens."

The West Australian

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