Australia Institute called out over false figures used in report

Australia InstituteSouth Australia’s peak mining body has slammed The Australia Institute over a report they claim is factually incorrect.

The South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy (SACOME) claims to be “bemused and alarmed at the lack of rigour in a recent report released (on Monday) by The Australia Institute … This report asserted the South Australian mining and petroleum industries received $316 million in hidden subsidies over the past 6 years.”

The report referred to is titled The Age of Entitlement Lives On.

Jason Kuchel, Chief Executive SACOME said “The actual number of subsidies and grants given to the mining and petroleum industries over the same 6 year period is $49.7million, compared to the $1,044million gained over the same period from fees and royalties”

“Analysis of the Government’s budget papers has shown that nearly all of budgeted programs and projects identified by the TAI do not provide a subsidy to the industry and only a handful can be considered as providing direct assistance to the industry.”

“The Australia Institute has included figures in their report that were wholly funded by the industry or budget allocations for the department to carry out its regulatory duties. The clearest example is the $19 million they identified for the Stuart Highway shoulder upgrade that was paid in full by BHP Billiton as part of their requirements for the Olympic Dam expansion.” Mr Kuchel said.

“It is clear that The Australia Institute has not conducted due diligence when researching, identifying, and analysing the programs that the relevant government departments are budgeted for. The budget papers identify the Minerals Resources and Energy Resources programs as “Managing the States mineral resources by: Regulating exploration and mining operations…”

“SACOME calls on the Australia Institute to retract the report and issue an apology to not only the mineral and petroleum industries but each respective State Government for misrepresenting their budget allocations for their respective Departments.” Mr Kuchel said.

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