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Low returns for Tasmania’s big mining subsidies

Media Release
Christine Milne 24 Jun 2014

A new report out today shows Tasmania is spending $17 million to prop up mining and minerals processing industries, even though low global prices are rendering some mines unviable, said Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne.

"The Australia Institute report shows that for the $17 million in corporate welfare to the miners from the Tasmanian government on roads and other subsidies, we got back just $49 million in royalties," Senator Milne said.

"The government recently gave Shree Minerals a royalty holiday for its Nelson River mine but the same mine, with its handful of jobs, has halted production due to low iron ore prices.

"We are now left with a scar marring the Tarkine, $14 million spent on west coast roads over the past four years, and no knowledge of when, or if, the mine will ever re-start or whether there is enough money to rehabilitate the area.

"Over the past four years the government has spent $54 million on mining and processing subsidies which equates to about 116 teachers.

"The government's approach to the mining industry is starting to mirror past mistakes with the woodchipping industry.

"Tasmania can't afford to keep propping up unviable industries. Taxpayers' money should be spent on what gives the state the best return.

"In the same year the government spent $17 million on mining it spent $28 million on tourism and major events, which underpin thousands of jobs and inject millions into the broader economy," Senator Milne said.

 

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