Press Release

Tony_seabrook

PGA URGES MINERS TO EXERCISE CAUTION ON CAP SCHEME

2015-05-19

Western Australia’s leading agricultural lobby group, the Pastoralists and Graziers Association (PGA) says caution needs to be exercised over the establishment of a cap on iron ore production.

 

“Despite concerns over the impact of lower iron ore prices on the Western Australian economy, the mining industry needs to be careful about following down the same path as what used to be Australia’s largest export earner, the wool industry,” PGA President Tony Seabrook said.

 

“Although there are many differences between wool and iron ore, the fact is that for over 150 years wool was the number one industry in Australia and the fabulous wealth from wool transformed the nation from an agrarian economy to an modern industrialised one, much like iron ore has done in this century.”

 

“In the 1970s, politicians and wool industry leaders believed a price reserve scheme would bring stability to fluctuating prices and allow Australia to control the world price of wool.  When it collapsed in 1991, this once mightiest of industries suffered the greatest economic failure in Australian history, resulting in a wool stockpile of over 6million bales.”

 

“The wool industry was decimated and farmers turned to grain and meat production in order to survive.  Only today are we seeing wool slowly recovering, because most of the sheep that created the ‘lucky country’ are now gone.”

 

“Australians need to remember that unlike iron ore, Australia was by far the major supplier of wool to the world and was not faced with others willing and able to fill the production gap,” Mr Seabrook said.

 

“From an industry that knows the devastating effects of caps and schemes, we urge the mining industry to be careful in going down the same path.”

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