MELBOURNE – (Reuters) – You know you’re in trouble when you’re ranked worse for red tape than India. The World Economic Forum this week put Australia 129th out of 148 countries, ranking it 25 spots lower than India, in terms of the burden of government regulation.
And Australia’s red tape is hurting growth in its key mining sector at a time when other sectors are struggling to fire up to fill the gap left by a fading mining investment boom.
Australian miners sitting on coal lodes that could produce 100 million tonnes a year say they are frustrated by layers of state and national approvals that take years to secure, anti-coal campaigners using the courts to delay projects, and carbon and mining taxes eating into potential returns.
“Green tape in Australia really has become very stifling for business, to the point now where it’s difficult to tell the difference between green and red tape, it’s so embedded,” said Whitehaven Coal Chief Executive Paul Flynn, referring to lengthy environmental reviews by state and federal agencies. Continue Reading →