Miners pan moratorium state – by Paul Garvey (The Australian – February 26, 2015)


THE world’s mining companies have ranked Victoria as less ­attractive than the historically strife-torn nations of Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the latest annual survey from Canada’s Fraser Institute.

The respected survey, in which mining executives rank the investment attractiveness of 122 nations and jurisdictions around the world on a variety of regulatory, social and geological factors, ranked Victoria as the least attractive place in Australia to invest.

NSW also performed poorly, ranking behind Burkina Faso — site of a military coup last year — and the military junta-ruled Myanmar. Victoria’s score was hard hit by poor scores in categories such as environmental regulation uncertainty and regulatory duplication and inconsistency.

The state was ranked 66th out of 122 jurisdictions for investment attractiveness, placing it just ahead of countries such as Laos, Liberia and Kazakhstan. Rob Annells, the executive chairman of Victorian oil and gas explorer Lakes Oil, said Victoria’s poor showing in the survey was of little surprise.

Victoria put a moratorium around onshore gas drilling under the former Liberal government which has since been extended by the new Labor government.

Mr Annells said that policy, along with a lack of support for minerals exploration, had left the state exposed.

“There doesn’t seem to be much support from either side of politics,” he said, contrasting Victoria’s lack of support with the lengths to which South Australia had gone to encourage investment from the resources sector.

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