Mining magnate Gina Rinehart.
Mining magnate Gina Rinehart.

Gina defends mine empire inheritance

GINA Rinehart has used the historic first export of coal by road train from the Galilee Basin to attack government red tape and lack of tax breaks as preventing Australia from remaining cost competitive on the world resources stage.

The blue-blooded daughter of West Australian pioneer Lang Hancock, touted to take the mantle of the world’s richest person in coming years, spent Sunday at her Alpha Coal Project trial mine site feasting and feting VIPs from China, India, France, LNP politicians and regional mayors.

A vocal opponent of the Federal Government’s proposed mining and carbon taxes, Mrs Rinehart advocated tax bonuses for companies investing in the billions soon to be reaped from the new basin.

“There is simply no place in Australia for policies that deter exploration, investment and hard work,” she said. “Not if we want standards of living to be maintained or improved.

“We live in a cost-competitive world, profits are only temporary. Canberra needs to recognise this.

“What is really happening to investment in Australia, when daily we read of high iron ore prices and profits, some think this means we should gut the industry.

“Despite the record prices when our investment appeal and confidence should be at its highest, today’s policies have meant exploration is being discouraged in Australia and our investment is back to 2003 levels pre-boom.”

Mrs Rinehart said she was perceived as opposing mining and carbon taxes for her own “greedy… self benefit”.

She had worked very hard, she added, to look after her children and grandchildren after inheriting her father’s empire as a widow.

“… I have not received 1% for employing people over years to enable our company to explore, study and put in the building blocks for this Queensland project to enable it to progress toward development,” she said.

“For the cost of building this trial mine alone I could have bought myself a beautiful new private jet.”

Mrs Rinehart also revealed some mine functions would be controlled out of a planned Remote Operations Centre at Brisbane airport saving some southern-based FIFOs a plane ride.

“So some families can stay in their Brisbane and surrounding area homes, with the stress of fly in, fly out being away from their families, friends, pets and city conveniences, together with the additional safety (a) ROC enables,” she said.

Workers on the rail and port component of the Hancock project aren’t forgotten either with resort-style staff facilities planned for a parcel of land south of Abbot Point at Murray’s Bay.

“The media are nearly correct,” she said wryly.

“I have bought the land, but this very beautiful bay is not for me to personally enjoy, it’s for our future port and rail staff - those who are married, with or without families, and single women staff too.

“We want to make this a project where staff enjoy being, and be part of our very special and growing company culture.”

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