Miner calls for end to Australian class war – by John McCarthy (Brisbaine Courier-Mail – June 25, 2013)


ANGLOAMERICAN has called for the end of class warfare and for more vision from governments to revive Australia’s global business and repair its reputation

New chief executive Mark Cutifani said Australia’s reputation had been badly damaged by the debate over mining tax and the Government’s initiation of class warfare. That debate was sparked by attacks on the mining industry by people such as Gina Rinehart and his comments will add fire to the internal power struggle in the Labor Government.

Mr Cutifani said people in Europe and Asia were concerned about Australians brawling with each other, rather than debating the issues. “That is something they say they haven’t seen for 20 or 30 years,” Mr Cutifani said.

He would tell a Minerals Council of Australia forum in Canberra tomorrow that governments had not spent the revenue from the mining industry wisely. “There is a lack of vision, but it’s even worse than that,” he said. “It worries me that we have been fighting each other, rather than working together.

“The class warfare thing has done incredible damage,” Mr Cutifani said. “I am amazed by how many people who are observing us remark on how we are fighting each other, rather than just our normal robust debate.”

Mr Cutifani said he was impressed with the Queensland Government’s push for greater transparency in project approvals but said it toiled under difficult structures, such as the mining and carbon taxes.

He said both issues had damaged the country’s reputation terribly.

“It is making it more difficult to get projects approved,” Mr Cutifani said.

“We used to have state governments that were the primary stewards of projects. Now there is the Federal Government and local government. Everybody is duplicating and triplicating things.

“The industry is responsible for 20 per cent of economic benefits and I can’t see why it should be treated like that,” Mr Cutifani said.

He said the Government should encourage the mining industry and other sectors of the economy to work together to provide infrastructure that would help build the economy.

Mr Cutifani, who took over as chief executive of the global miner in April, is preparing to outline his vision for AngloAmerican next month and he said yesterday the metallurgical coal business, based in Brisbane, was a blueprint for how the company should be run globally.

Mr Cutifani said the division had operated more like a manufacturing business in grabbing opportunities and developing them and, because of that, it had bucked the trend in productivity.

For the original version of this article, click here: http://www.couriermail.com.au/business/miner-calls-for-end-to-australian-class-war/story-fnefl294-1226668996918

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