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What is your plan Jay?

Aug 01, 2012

Mitch Williams MP

Deputy Leader of the Opposition
Shadow Minister for Water and the River Murray
Shadow Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources Development


What is your plan Jay?

The Government is rattled – it’s gambled our future and there is a strong chance that gamble will not pay off, that is why the Government can’t get its message right regarding BHP Billiton’s decision on the Olympic Dam expansion.

The Premier told the media on 17 April 2012 in relation to approving a timeframe extension on the Olympic Dam expansion:

“There is no intention to approve that…We need to know the go-button has been pressed within the 12-month term of the agreement."

Minister Koutsantonis told the media on 29 May 2012 in relation to approving a timeframe extension:

“I will not be granting an extension…If they want to put it on hold they can but they know that the consequence is that they lose their approvals... I don’t bluff.”

Today, the Australian Financial Review reported the Premier as saying:

“We’ll obviously entertain any application that is made [to extend that].”

Yet on radio this morning, the Premier said:

“We don’t believe there is a basis for an extension of the indenture arrangement.”

Let’s not forget that only two months ago the Government brought down a budget with the opening line stating:

“South Australia will be a very different place in a few years, the expansion of the Olympic mine – the largest open pit mine in the world – will be operating.”
*Budget Paper 2, Budget Speech 31 May 2012

“Instead of threatening BHP Billiton over recent months the Government should have been doing two things – it should have been 100 per cent supportive of BHP Billiton and more importantly the Government should have policies to ensure that our State can grow and prosper in the event that this project is delayed,” Mr Williams said.

“Quite simply this lazy Government relied for years upon windfall revenues and more recently has staked South Australia’s future on BHP Billiton.

“The reality is that our economy depends on a range of viable industries many of which have been either ignored or taken for granted by this Government.”

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