Hooke resigns as MCA boss

LONG-serving Minerals Council of Australia chief executive officer Mitch Hooke will step down from the position at the end of 2013.
Hooke resigns as MCA boss Hooke resigns as MCA boss Hooke resigns as MCA boss Hooke resigns as MCA boss Hooke resigns as MCA boss

Minerals Council of Australia, CEO Mitch Hooke.

Lauren Barrett

Hooke, who has been CEO of the council since May 2002, has agreed to continue as a special advisor for 12 months after finishing up in the position.

In a statement, MCA chairman Peter Johnston said Hooke had an enormous impact on the mining industry and the Australian public-policy landscape.

Hooke was a vocal opponent of former prime minister Kevin Rudd’s controversial Resource Super Profits Tax, arguing it would hit the industry’s workforce, the millions of Australians with shares in superannuation or minerals companies and the thousands of small businesses that serviced the industry.

MCA’s sticking points included not treating all commodities equally and lowering the headline tax rate of 40% to something more in line with global tax rates.

Hooke, in conjunction with the industry, put up a strong and effective campaign against the tax, with the intense backlash for the tax eventually resulting in its scrapping in early 2011.

As a result, the watered down Minerals Resource Rent Tax was born from negotiations with Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Rio Tinto, Xstrata and BHP Billiton, with Hooke having been involved in the lead-up to the talks.

In addition, Johnston credited Hooke for improving the industry’s environmental and social performance as well as enhancing the sector’s relationship with indigenous Australians.

“Ten years ago this industry charged Mitch with reforming the MCA,” Johnston said.

“He has built a strongly and highly regarded organisation with a very capable secretariat, an engaged membership and a reputation for policy integrity and credibility.”

The MCA has now kicked off the search for Hooke’s successor.