Activism impacting investment in Australia

Dr Nikki Williams: "The war on coal has some very material impacts.  Five years ago it cost approximately $100 million in upfront capital to get a mine in Queensland up.  Five years later that same mine costs $1 billion in upfront capital.  Now why have those costs escalated in such a short period of time?  The reasons those costs have escalated is the growing regulatory burden that has been introduced by government in response to activism.  Now some of that activism, of course, is legitimate community concerns about mining activities and the desire to make sure that those activities are managed in the most sensitive way possible, that's a cost of doing business.  But much of that has been because of the very deliberate tactics by the activists to use the planning system to delay these projects, as a I say a two-fold increase in the timing of these projects deliberately to add costs.  Now adding cost makes Australia a less desirable investment environment and global capital is scarce and there are plenty of projects to finance.  And at the moment you have a situation in Australia where we are now the highest cost coal producer, where there is uncertainty about planning approvals because of the ability to manipulate that system to engender uncertainty and to engender delay and thus to load cost onto the development of the project."

Categories: Activism, Coal in Australia, Economy, Government, Resources & Economy
Author: Dr Nikki Williams
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