Today we honour another of my dearest friends, a pioneering leader of Roy Hill and fellow Hancock Board member. Tad Watroba has been by my side on the Roy Hill mega-project all the way through. We started from very humble beginnings, with very little money for exploration. With every member of Roy’s help, we can look back with pride as what we all have achieved together delivers thousands of jobs to Australians, billions of dollars to the nation’s economy and helps contribute towards maintaining the high living standards we in Australia are very fortunate to enjoy. In the hope spent well, our taxes contribute to our defence, police, looking after our vets, elderly, hospitals, emergencies, kindergartens and much more. I’m delighted and it is indeed my honour to announce the christening and naming of the Watroba Wet High Intensity Magnetic Separator Plant.
Rowing Australia held their annual awards gala in Penrith, NSW, March 11th, to celebrate the successes of the rowers and their coaches. And what a year to celebrate after an amazing performance in Tokyo by our rowers! One of Australia’s rowers best Olympic performances in history. Hancock Prospecting and Mrs. Gina Rinehart send a heartfelt congratulations to all of this evening’s winners, and a big thank you to president Rob Scott.
Warmest congratulations to you all. I was certainly cheering even a bit more so seeing my fellow west Aussies win their medals! There are very few people who can say they have represented their country internationally, against the world’s best, so you have every reason after your immensely hard work, to be proud of yourselves – I know everyone in this room is. As is our company, Hancock prospecting, who has joined with me, for the last 30 years wanting to support w a swimming.
My time allocation doesn’t permit me to continue with other Australian women who inspire, so I will finish with quotes from a leader I do admire greatly, for her sense, bravery, leadership, duty to her country, and acting in its interests, even if not popular in noisy quarters, and I hope these quotes resonate, as we sure need better leadership in our country. Quoting from former Prime Minister, Baroness Margaret Thatcher. “Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s a day you’ve had everything to do and you’ve done it.”
Mrs Rinehart said the industry couldn’t afford to rest on its laurels after a remarkable year during which mining provided the backbone of the economy through the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Please don’t forget it was only a few years ago that our industry was faced with both Mineral Resource Rent and Carbon Tax, a double whammy which would have deprived our industry of the profits needed for investment and for extending our mines and or building new mines, indeed would have devastated many in the industry,” she said.
“Now is the time to remind all those we can, that our industry is necessary to maintain the living standards of Australians, its revenue is necessary to help fund our defence force and police, our hospitals and kindies, to help our elderly, maintain some of our airports, bridges, rail and roads, and provide funds for crises.
“Because we can’t sit on our laurels and think that if we do nothing, the double whammy won’t return in some foolish form or another to devastate our industry, an industry we not only derive our livelihoods from, but should be very proud to be a part of.”
When I say our, I include Kidman and Hancock Agriculture because combined we are one of the biggest levy payers in Australia.
Frankly, the less that goes to such levy’s the better, as usually we are much better at planning and spending this ourselves, than trusting bureaucrats with no real experience in our industry.
But lately, there are some changes in the wind, going against the PMs proposed swamp reduction path, with the Red Meat Advisory Committee who are planning to build bigger bureaucracies.
I do hope we in the industry, include a strong call for significantly reducing the levy, as frankly, why do we need bureaucrats to guide our industry when they simply don’t have the experience or the knowledge to do so.
We need those whom want to build empires to engage with levy payers and ensure our hard-earned levies are not misused to further political aspirations of certain individuals. One of the surest ways to enable this is to reduce the levies.
Our cattle company like others has suffered from the drought, I want to thank you for your unwavering efforts during such difficult years.
We pray the rain comes soon. I hope you want to continue through these difficulties to still build and be part of the best cattle company in Australia.
What a year it has been. It was great to be with you for several rowing events, including the Henley Royal Regatta again, love going to that! and at the World Cup near Rotterdam, and witnessing part of the historic winning of the World Cup Series. The first time Australia has ever won… as your Patron and I know Rob too, we are incredibly proud of this achievement.
The sport of rowing is one that we know takes dedication, hard work, resilience, perseverance and sacrifice. These attributes are common traits, in successful people across sport, also in business and life. It is exciting to see you envelop these skills, indeed one of the reasons I invested in rowing and Olympic sport. I very much admire the endeavour you all show day after day in your training, to reach the ultimate goal of a medal at the Olympic Games. I know many of you in the rowing community have family badly affected by the drought…having lived in the north-west together with currently operating in the outback across Australia, I can understand and feel the huge struggle as we have to try to deal with this on a daily basis. From everyone at Hancock, our thoughts and prayers are with you and all those dealing with this disaster as we struggle through this record drought.
Our mining sector has delivered for the whole of Australia over many decades, opening up remote and rugged areas that wouldn’t be productive otherwise – providing employment, opportunities and revenue in Australia’s north. The importance of mining to the Australian economy should not be underestimated. Last year, Australia’s then Governor General invited us to his Canberra residence to celebrate our National Day. His Excellency General, the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), one of the finest Australians our country has ever produced. Superbly said in his own fine words. Please join me in applause. Please see more of the then Governor General’s speech on our National Mining and Related Industries Day website. Many of you would have heard me say before, albeit less eloquently – if high cost Australia wants to remain internationally competitive and encourage investment to grow its exports, which exports bring massive revenue into Australia, and future jobs for our growing population – we need our Government to cut its onerous, investment deterring burdens of government tape and taxes. Let’s help our Government to focus on and progress significant tax and tape cutting.
People ask me why I didn’t call today just National Agriculture Day. Its National Agriculture and Related Industries day because agriculture doesn’t just work in isolation, it supports many other related industries across our country. We and the related industries are an industry that is not only of great importance to West Australia and Australia, and essential to our lives, but throughout our history has been part of the very best of our Australian culture. Hard work, mateship, striving through adversity, not relying on handouts, common sense, practical, sensible, giving helping hands, trustworthy, responsible, striving to do the tasks at hand well, investors in our country, job providers, risk takers, and a larger pro rata percentage of whom make up our defence forces and Olympic teams. What fantastic qualities! These are the qualities we usually find in the people who live and work in the bush, making it productive. Qualities shared over generations by the people who built our country, people I admire, we all can admire.
We as pastoralists and farmers are best placed to determine where investment should go for the properties we know, I underline this, the properties we know, and we should advise government. Not the other way around.
Imagine what we could do in our industry, with tax and government tape cuts, more water, and having more say on where our own hard earned money is invested. I think we could be the best in the world!
Now I know Tony would have a terrific forum planned for you, but firstly I want to say, a huge congratulations and thanks to the Pastoralists and Graziers Association, and to their terrific President, Tony Seabrook, for all they do for our industry and the brave stand they tirelessly take, standing up for our industry. Indeed for West Australians too.