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Candidate Forum puts mining in the spotlight

Shane Broad MP and Felix Ellis MP answer questions put by Q&A Moderator Ray Mostogl

On Tuesday night the Tasmanian Minerals, Manufacturing and Energy Council (TMEC) held its candidate forum ahead of this weekend’s Tasmanian election.  

The forum featured Felix Ellis of the Liberals and Shane Broad of Labor. Other parties and candidates were invited but were unable to attend.

The forum was well attended by representatives of businesses that make up more than 60 percent of Tasmania’s exports and candidates were asked to explain how their respective parties would underpin a vibrant minerals industry in Tasmania with other topics including diversity, decarbonisation, skills, multi-use of land, first nations and communities which resonated with the overall industry theme of Cleaner, Smarter and Diverse.

TMEC CEO, Ray Mostogl said the forum was a chance to explore with candidates how the Tasmanian mining industry could continue to evolve.

“There is a willingness within the industry to learn and adapt to emerging needs for people, communities, and the environment but also a need to strengthen the mutual benefits the industry can have with local and state governments”.

“Tonight’s Q&A showed both parties want to engage with industry and identify areas where the industry could do more.

“It’s important the next government has the numbers or the relationships so it actually delivers on its commitments and this was one of the themes explored at the forum.  Both candidates made the point that their respective parties were committed to delivering on their respective policies.

“Both candidates agreed that the balance is right between what is already protected and what should be available for productive use in the Tarkine area and were both dismayed at the Federal Government’s handling of issues being considered under the EPBC Act.

“Importantly both candidates were committed to continuing programs to incentivise exploration, preparing a position on a critical mineral mining and processing industry being established in Tasmania and not increasing royalties.

“Labor had a stronger appetite for reform which appealed to the audience, particularly its plans for increasing the supply of renewable energy and for lifting the performance of TasPorts and the capacity of Burnie Port.

“Overall, the Liberals came out in front on our straw poll of attendees, but were not in front on all discussion points and the result was very close.”