Anti-mining campaigners ‘loose with the truth’

December 08, 2014

Australia is better off having been through the mining boom and opponents of mining are too simplistic in their views, according to former Federal Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson AM.

Pictured: Martin Ferguson speaking at 
Minerals Council of Australia's Minerals Week event in 2012
He warned of the danger of an ideological minority that is ‘loose with the truth’ and ‘employs disinformation’ in their campaigns against the resources sector and the jobs it creates. 
In a recent address to the Hunter Business Chamber’s Mining Lunch, Mr Ferguson, now an executive with Seven Group Holdings with responsibility for natural resources, said the mining boom was the foundation of Australia’s economic success over the last ten years.
“While the industry added around 160,000 jobs in the past ten years, three times this number was created in secondary, non-mining activities compared to those created in direct resources extraction,” he said.
“Another key benefit has been the boost to regional development in Australia, including for Indigenous Australians. The mining industry proudly boasts of being the highest private sector employer of Indigenous people.
“I specifically refer to these facts, as there has been a tendency by some of our detractors in the public arena to assess the contribution of mining to Australia’s economic and social welfare by the revenue take from one particular tax.
“This is as simplistic as it is wrong.”
Mr Ferguson says that despite the current downturn in commodity prices, the future looks bright as emerging economies continue to grow and more people look to join the grid.
“The rapid uptake of electricity was fundamental to the industrialization of O.E.C.D economics, increased prosperity and higher living standards.
“Fortunately, for a resource rich nation, the non O.E.C.D world has the same aspirations for economic growth as we do, yet across the globe 1.3 billion people do not have access to low cost reliable sources of electricity.
“In fact, 17 per cent of the world’s population resides in O.E.C.D countries yet they account for 49 per cent of world electricity consumption.
“This is despite of the fact that world electricity use increased by 85 per cent over the last two years, with Asia, our backyard, being the key contributor to this growth.”

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