Saturday, February 9, 2013

Not all businesses admire the Emperor's new clothes | The Australian

Not all businesses admire the Emperor's new clothes | The Australian:
But the man known as "the Emperor" is not universally loved by business. In fact, many are privately irked by his interventionist and often dictatorial style.

And for a man who wants nothing more than to leave behind a legacy of major developments, he has failed miserably to advance his two pet mega-projects: the $6 billion Oakajee port and rail network in the state's mid-west and the proposed $40bn Browse LNG project near Broome.

Senior executives at Woodside and Shell, the main companies behind Browse, are known to be angry with Mr Barnett for insisting the gas plant be built at James Price Point even if that turns out to be an uneconomic option.

Mr Barnett's headstrong approach has, in fact, contributed to some of the delays and endless legal brawls that have erupted over James Price Point, but the Premier has responded to criticisms by suggesting no project of this magnitude has ever been developed smoothly.


  1. Grylls idea of getting these mega projects to contribute to training schemes didn't last long.The Emperor shot it down on Friday night.
    They are too poor with all their multi billion dollars record profits.More foreign workers needed.


    An interesting comment on mining in Australia :

    THE NSW mining industry has warned that if the level of corruption alleged at the inquiry into mining licences issued under the former Labor government had occurred in an African country, investors would abandon the region.

    Julian Malnic, founder of the Sydney Mining Club, has called on the state government to rectify the reputation of the industry, which he says has now been internationally damaged


    Presumably the Sydney Mining Club's main beef is the fact McDonald received $4 million for his part in the swindle.A sum unheard of in Africa.This must stop before it spreads.A bribery cap of a few thousand dollars must be imposed on government ministers.Now.


    What are they going on about?
    I could have sworn Martin Ferguson and ex BHP chief Don Argus locked themselves away and worked hard at developing a tax that would ensure the miners paid no tax.


    A FUNDAMENTAL flaw in the mining tax is the main reason for the massive shortfall in revenue, not the drop in iron ore and coal prices claimed by Wayne Swan.

    The design failing means the tax cannot hope to bring in the revenue predicted


    No surprises there.


    It's election time again and the rivers of the north must be dammed and the great savannah dug up.


    Native title war brewing

    THE Coalition's proposals for developing northern Australia could spark a war between pastoralists and indigenous groups over changes to native title legislation.

    Easing land-use restrictions above the Tropic of Capricorn to promote intensive agriculture would require changes to the Native Title Act, according to the Northern Territory government, which is pursuing similar reforms.

    But the powerful Northern Land Council has vowed to fight the changes, declaring that leases should be negotiated by existing means.

    The Territory government says those have in the past proved prohibitively costly and time-consuming, and it would like to avoid native title claims "full stop".

    Northern Territory Minister for Primary Industry and Fisheries Willem Westra van Holthe said struggling pastoralists should be able to diversify their operations to find alternative income streams in the wake of the live-exports scandal of recent years.

    At present, conditions attached to pastoral leases, which cover about half the Territory, limit economic activity to grazing "cloven hoof animals".

    Changing those conditions would, in most cases, trigger native title claims.

    "If we can avoid (triggering) native title claims full stop, it would be ideal," Mr van Holthe said.

    "I expect we will be looking to the commonwealth to change the Native Title Act."

    Acting chief executive of the Northern Land Council Robert Graham said agreements between pastoralists and traditional owners could be reached under existing legislation.

    "This can readily be achieved under the Native Title Act..."

    Miners, farming groups and resource-rich states have spoken out recently against Labor's proposed changes to native title, amid concerns over increasing numbers of legal challenges, higher costs, greater inefficiency and more agricultural land being subject to the laws.

    Labor's new laws are designed to ensure good-faith negotiations are not just paid lip service, and to give indigenous people the right to claim title over national parks.

    The Coalition has pledged to oppose them.

    The former chief executive of the Northern Land Council, Kim Hill, predicted that indigenous people would fight any changes to land tenure for fear of losing their hard-won gains.


    Just love that name,"Willem Westra van Holthe"

  2. So what ails Burke?
    Why is he off on his wobbly bicycle again?

    A few days ago he skipped listing the Tarkine because no matter how his department looked at it protecting some was worse than protecting none.
    More better to let the miners in and dig it up for some jobs.

    Now this.

    Burke approves huge gas and coal plans

    A clutch of big coal and coal seam gas projects, including the controversial Whitehaven mine near Narrabri in NSW, have been approved by the federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke.

    He signed conditional approvals for Whitehaven's Maules Creek mine, planned for the Leard State Forest, Idemitsu's neighbouring Boggabri coalmine expansion, and a coal seam gas development planned by AGL for Gloucester in NSW.

    Together, the three resources projects would have a huge carbon footprint of 47 million tonnes of greenhouse gases a year - about 8 per cent of Australia's total emissions - according to environmental impact assessments.


    The mining projects had all been approved at state level. Mr Burke's signature was seen as the final obstacle to development.

    ''Of all the decisions I have ever made, this is the one where I have the least idea of whether the projects are going to go ahead,'' he said. ''For all three projects there are substantial issues.''

    Some of the hurdles yet to be overcome are the preservation of a ''biodiversity corridor'' in the Leard Forest to allow koalas and other vulnerable animals to survive, high quality offsets to partially compensate for sections of the forest which would be cut down, and a hydrogeological survey around Gloucester.

    Mr Burke compared Monday's decision to the approval granted by former environment minister Malcolm Turnbull to the proposed Gunns pulp mill in Tasmania. That process involved a series of separate ''modules'' that stretched the approvals process out for years, before the project was finally canned.


    Asked if his coal and coal seam gas decisions then amounted to ''Clayton's approvals'', Mr Burke said: ''It's a completely fair criticism. I would have much preferred to do things in the usual way, and give clear approvals or rejections. Unfortunately the NSW government chose to leak commercial information, and caused this process.''


    Mr Burke was referring to a confidential letter from him to the NSW government, obtained by Fairfax Media, flagging his intention to approve the Whitehaven mine late last year. He said NSW would be excluded from the further approvals process because the letter was leaked.

    Also on Monday, the NSW government granted conditional approval for an expansion of BHP Billiton's Dendrobium coalmine south-west of Sydney. Five longwall coal panels will be dug beneath Sydney's drinking water catchment, with some surface damage expected to eight ''upland swamps'' - rare ecosystems that support a variety of plants, birds and amphibians.


    ''Conservationists are furious about Minister Burke's decision,'' said the chief executive of the Nature Conservation Council of NSW, Pepe Clarke.

    ''Leard Forest is a rich natural habitat, teeming with life, and this decision marks the death knell of this extraordinary area.''

    The NSW Greens said the series of approvals made for ''a very black day for the environment in NSW''.


    Has he just caved in?
    Pre election nerves?