News

Services govt role, claims Rio

BHP Billiton will still be a part of the Abbot Point Coal Terminal expansion.
BHP Billiton will still be a part of the Abbot Point Coal Terminal expansion. Contributed

A MULTI-NATIONAL mining giant appears to have ruffled government feathers when its executive told an inquiry into fly-in, fly-out mining that as it paid its taxes it was the government's role to supply the infrastructure.

In his opening speech to the House of Representatives inquiry held in Melbourne, Rio Tinto's chief adviser for government relations, Mark O'Neill, said health services, education and housing were vital and needed to be improved in mining areas.

Mr O'Neill said Rio Tinto paid about $5 billion in income tax plus a further $2 billion in state royalties.

He told the committee, chaired by independent MP Tony Windsor, that fly-in or drive-in commuters would remain an essential option to the industry if services, housing and the level of local skills were not up to standard.

"It is worth noting here that governments do have a responsibility to adjust to changes in demographics and geographic demand for the basic services they have traditionally been responsible for delivering," Mr O'Neill said.

He added that government revenues had clearly increased with more mining, but "it is less clear that service delivery in some areas has kept pace with that".

Deputy chair Steve Gibbons reportedly told the hearing mining companies appeared happy to leave governments to deal with the consequences of mining, rather than work to help.

Mr O'Neill was joined by his Rio Tinto colleagues from the Pilbara in WA and Clermont in Central Queensland.

The inquiry also heard from resources industry groups AusIMM and the Australian Mines and Metals Association.

Topics:  government, income tax, rio tinto


Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Mason ties staff relive glory days

The historic 1888 Building Society building on the corner of East and Limestone streets.

Mason ties staff relive glory days

Hearing into base expansion

The final C-17 in the RAAF fleet (on ground) during a flyover ceremony to mark the occasion at RAAf Base Amberley.

Hearing into RAAF Base Amberley expansion

Funny cars chase share of serious cash

A field of 14 nitro cars line up at Willowbank on Saturday.

Funny cars chase share of serious cash

Latest deals and offers

WATCH: Man charged after allegedly reaching 182kmh

Polair chase ends in string of charges for alleged driver

Hanson says the "Islamisation of Australia" must stop

One Nation's pitch to woo Ipswich voters at the federal election.

One Nation is gearing up for this year's federal election

Drink and drug drivers hauled before city court

Ipswich Magistrates Court has heard a lot of drug driving cases

Man stabbed in back at Bellbird Park

A man was stabbed in the back on Saturday afternoon during an altercation at an address in Bellbird Park

Man stabbed during incident at Bellbird Park

Workmates credited with saving man from certain death

THANK YOU: Bruce O'Grady in the centre with (clockwise from left) Trent Court, Chris Aiken, Dale Ward and Scott Blackwell.

BRUCE O’Grady does not remember the morning of January 25, 2016.

Demand for acreage lots pushes up property prices

Property values in Cooroy have increased 25%

Property values jump in Cooroy and Peachester.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances