Peabody welcomes coalition government

THE world's largest private-sector coal company Peabody Energy wasted no time in congratulating Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott on the coalition’s win in Saturday’s federal election.
Peabody welcomes coalition government Peabody welcomes coalition government Peabody welcomes coalition government Peabody welcomes coalition government Peabody welcomes coalition government

Liberals leader, Tony Abbott

Lou Caruana

The coal mining giant, which has a significant presence in both Queensland and New South Wales after it acquired Macarthur Coal in 2011, issued a statement on Saturday congratulating the new government, which has promised to repeal the carbon and mining taxes.

“Peabody Energy joins Australians in congratulating the new government and recognizes the promise of a new day,” it said.

“We support leadership coming together from all party lines with policies that help family budgets, bolster the economy, lower the cost of electricity and improve the competitiveness of the resource sector.”

Pulling back on barriers such as the carbon tax and the minerals resource rent tax are the right steps toward these goals, it said.

“Peabody looks forward to working with the government and other partners to find common ground for policies that will keep Australia on track as a leader in the global economy,” the company said.

Peabody has 3000 employees in Australia and says it creates $10 billion in annual economic benefits for the nation.

In a sign of the growing importance of Australia to Peabody last week it promoted its Australia chairman Eric Ford to the role of executive vice president to improve the collaboration of the company’s global platform.

Peabody said Ford would have continuing responsibilities for government relations in Australia, including coal advocacy activities.

He will also collaborate on improvement and development projects that impact the global Peabody platform and act as a key resource to the company’s new president and chief operating officer.

Ford has served as chairman of Peabody Australia overseeing all strategic aspects of its Australian operations, including business direction, operational and commercial strategy and performance and external stakeholder interaction.

The New South Wales mining sector also welcomed the coalition’s win.

The Abbott government is expected to deliver a fresh approach to mining issues and policies to strengthen the mining sector in NSW, NSW Minerals Council chief executive Stephen Galilee said.

“The Coalition has been upfront in its recognition of the important role of mining for the economy now and into the future,” he said.

“That’s good news for jobs and good news for NSW.

“Mining was singled out in Labor’s response to the Henry Tax Review in 2010, and for much of the rest of Labor’s time in office the sector was treated as a cash cow and a political target to appease the Greens.

“The last few years should have been a time to consolidate on a period of significant investment in mining and resources. Instead it was a missed economic opportunity, despite the best efforts of highly respected Labor Resources Ministers Martin Ferguson and Gary Gray.

“In the end, voters have rejected this approach and we now have a new way.”

Voters have also rejected the Greens’ ‘stop everything’ approach to the NSW economy, with a 25% reduction in the Greens NSW vote, and significant swings away from the Greens in NSW mining regions.

“The emphatic election result has given the Coalition a clear mandate to deliver on its commitments including abolishing the carbon tax and the mining tax, introducing an exploration incentive, streamlining state and federal project assessment processes, and creating a ‘one-stop shop’ for faster project assessment times.

“These measures will boost the NSW mining sector, delivering investment and jobs for the NSW economy.

“We have a long and proud history of mining in NSW, and some of the best mineral deposits in the world. We have an experienced world-class workforce and good port and rail infrastructure. With the right policy settings, we can continue to deliver the investment, jobs and growth needed to underpin the NSW economy and the nation.”