Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s announcement to further reduce a $500 million threshold has been slammed by the Minerals Council of Australia as a backwards step for the country’s resource sector.
“This is a return to the failed protectionist policies that were abandoned when Bob Hawke and Paul Keating reformed and modernised the Australian economy, setting us up for the prosperity we enjoy today,” a spokesman for the Minerals Council told News Limited.
The new rule under Labor would see projects over $300 million adopt the Australian Industry Participation Plan and would be forced to use an Australian supplier for materials.
While Labor expects by lowering the threshold Australian businesses could be benefited by $156-$624 million each year, according to News Ltd, the Minerals Council sees the plan as a ‘road block’ in the growth of the country’s strong resources sector.
“With commodity prices down from peak levels, creeping protectionism poses a real threat to the minerals industry and wider economy,” said the spokesperson.
News.com has more.
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