Mining investment in freefall

SA’s mineral and petroleum exploration expenditure is declining at a faster than any other State or Territory in the nation according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data released yesterday.

In the September quarter mineral and petroleum exploration expenditure decreased by an alarming 36.9 per cent to just $52 million.

“What is most concerning with these figures is the impact they will have on mining jobs in our state,” said Shadow Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

“The continuing steep decline in the level of investment in mineral and petroleum exploration shows the Weatherill Government’s original promise of 5000 new jobs was highly irresponsible and its recently revised promise of 3000 new jobs is unrealistic.

“In fact 5000 jobs have disappeared from the mining sector since Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis promised in November 2014 to create 5000 jobs in the sector by 2017.

“Given substantial jobs growth will require new mining projects the freefall in exploration makes last week’s revised 3000 jobs figure wildly optimistic.

“Labor fell $263 million dollars short of reaching their target for mineral and petroleum exploration expenditure in 2014-15.

“Labor continually blames the fall in commodity prices for its failure to meet its promised targets but that fails to explain why South Australia is doing so much worse that the rest of the country.

“The objectives set out in the Premier Weatherill’s Economic Priorities: Unlocking our resources are not being met and the State Labor Government is clueless about how to turn the situation around.”