The Pickering Post
Tuesday, 11th December 2018

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FIX IT TONY ain't rocket science

Larry Pickering

Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.


What’s happening to our ore price is no more than free enterprise in action but of course the Greens and Labor can’t spell the words “free enterprise”. At the very mention of ore they want to tax multinationals even further offshore, they want a bigger share of the smaller cake and they want to impress on everyone that our minerals belong to all of us.

Well they don’t belong to all of us any more than do the fish found in our oceans or the oil found in our basins.

BH-P and Rio are purposefully oversupplying the world market in the same way that Saudi Arabia is oversupplying oil with the intention of killing off competitors that need a higher price for profitable extraction.

The Saudis can make good money at around $40 a barrel, oil shale and gas producers cannot, so after the smaller guys are forced to close shop, the price mysteriously returns to $110.

Last year, the price of iron ore fell below Fortescue's operating costs while Hockey’s budget assumes iron ore will trade at a minimum of Fortescue's $48 per tonne operating costs, so Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey have an interest in Fortescue remaining solvent as a marker.

Unfortunately Fortescue's share price has fallen from 6.02c in February 2014 to 2.30c now.

One Pilbara mine exported 30% more ore this financial year than in the second half of 2013... an incredible 26.3 million tonnes more than the ore shipped during the entire 2010-11 period when prices were at their peak. The figures speak for themselves.

The ACCC claims that stockpiling of ore to maintain the price “could be illegal”, but Fortescue’s Twiggy Forrest’s suggestion is entirely legal and shows just how out of touch 'shiny bum' public service Agencies actually are.

We have been stockpiling wool and wheat and all other non-perishables to maintain export prices for 100 years... and so has every other international competitor.

But Twiggy Forrest’s radical suggestion of a cartel may have unforeseen consequences, like inviting other international players into the market.

Australia needs at all costs to maintain itself as the world’s biggest and most reliable producer of high grade iron ore.

But no Senate inquiry is needed, this loony menagerie of Senators knows nothing about the politics of ore and anyway Sam Dastyari’s only interest in ore is that he gets an extra $30,000 each time he puts his hand up for Chairman of another inquiry, so he’s quite happy.

Unfortunately, Abbott is suggesting he will go along with an inquiry only because it saves him making a decision.

Yet Tony Abbott knows exactly what’s happening and why. The surge in production, which has been mainly irrespective of demand, came at a heavy cost to Fortescue. Ore prices averaged around $US160 a tonne in 2010 and, despite a recent surge to around $60 a tonne, have been trending erratically to below $40 a tonne.

What should happen is that Abbott summon Rio, BH-P and Fortescue to a meeting to sort it out. Either Australia will benefit from having a smaller player like Fortescue in the ore export mix or it won’t. If it will benefit the nation then Abbott needs to tell the big two to cut it out and stop flooding the market with cheap ore.

The big two would have no choice but to comply! Claims that this would be illegal and would upset export markets is a load of old frog droppings. Abbott could easily achieve this simply by threatening a super tax on exports above a certain tonnage level in any one period until further notice.

If Fortescue is not considered essential then throw it to the wolves... Twiggy more than anyone knows the price of free enterprise.

All export markets, including China, will buy whatever they need, and at the current market price or on indent, as they always have done, even when the ore price was $160 a tonne.

If they believe the price will drop they forward buy, if they believe the price will rise they will buy now and stockpile it themselves. That’s the way it works... it’s not rocket science.

There is a destructive shit fight going on in iron ore production and we need another Senate inquiry like we need a bloody hole in the head.

What we DO need is a bit of leadership from Abbott.


Correct, Larry. They will buy it whatever the cost. A simple analogy - does anyone leave the car in the shed and ride a pushbike 200 kilometres to the sea-side when the price of petrol mysteriously skyrockets before every long week-end? And they need iron ore more than most of us need a holiday!

Qld Labor supporting Abbott Point expansion, pragmatism rules the waves ..................................................................................................................EIS for Abbot Point good news for local jobs: QRC

Wednesday, 20 May 2015
Lou Caruana
AN environmental impact study for the next stage of the Abbot Point port expansion would provide environmental protection, while paving the way for new jobs in mining and construction for regional Queensland, according to the Queensland Resources Council.

Shiploader landing at Abbot Point.

The port expansion would service proposed coal mines in the Galilee Basin. Acting QRC CEO Greg Lane congratulated the Queensland government on its “balanced approach to development”.

“While activists will continue to rail against the development of coal mines, I’m pleased to see that the Queensland government will base its decision on the expansion on science,” he said.

“Like the government we know that you can protect the environment, while providing the resources needed by an energy hungry world.

“Currently 1.3 billion people in the world don’t have access to the benefits of electricity, which we take for granted, and coal will necessarily be part of the energy mix for the foreseeable future.”

Regional communities including Alpha, Clermont, Emerald, Bowen, Moranbah, Mackay, Rockhampton and Townsville are all expected to benefit from development of the so-far untapped resources in the Galilee Basin with thousands of jobs expected to flow during construction and operations, according to the QRC.

Abbot Point, 25km north-west of Bowen, currently has a capacity of 50 million tonnes per annum. The proposed expansion will increase capacity by 70Mtpa to cater for additional coal from the Galilee basin, including Adani Mining’s proposed Carmichael Mine.

Queensland State Development Minister Anthony Lynham said the EIS would take from six to nine months to complete and include 20 business days for public consultation – double the amount provided by the previous government.

“The Palaszczuk government intended for the project to follow due process, including a full EIS, unlike the former government who tried to rush through a project which would have harmed the Caley Valley Wetlands without proper scrutiny,” he said.

“The full cost of the EIS will be paid for by mine proponent, Adani, not taxpayers, under an agreement with the government.”

The EIS will look at all environmental impacts, including detailed investigations into dredging impacts, social and economic impacts, marine ecology and terrestrial ecology (including flora and fauna), and management of cultural heritage with the Juru traditional owners.

The expansion project proposes dredging about 61 hectares of seabed within port limits, outside the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

“There’s no question about it, Queensland can have this vital port infrastructure and a vibrant Great Barrier Reef – the findings of the EIS will show us the best way to achieve this,” Lynham said.

BHP did something similar in the 1980's with soft and semi-soft coking coal but the Japanese were concerned and decided to diversify their supply while BHP lost out on net income. The Chinese are not stupid they will get iron ore from Brazil and African countries. BHP and RIO will cut their production the the price will stbilise around $70/t

China is in no position to complain, everyone knows they restrict the supply of Rare Earth minerals to boost prices.

in all this Fortescue increased production in the face of falling prices and got caught that's business.

I hope the CSG hating farming lobby also had a good look at the 7:30 report and note the destruction that their Californian brothers are doing to the water table over there. People in glass houses should not be throwing stones!

Well done Twiggy tonight on 7:30 report. Put the Lee Sales mole in her place in the same fashion that Cory Bernardi did last night on Lateline. About 5 times in a row she tried putting words in Twiggy's mouth, and 5 times he refuted the lies and put the bitch in her place.

Everyone should watch this, absorb it and pass it on as you will probably never see this on our TV News Channels at home

The IDIOT Hansen Young was VERY quiet when Labor were drowning boat people at sea. Now raving and ranting that the Australian Government should be saving " 8000 refugees ". She is just plain BONKERS .

Thanks for whipping the Horse, WASP. saves me being nasty. Horse is sureing up his bets with some tips from us all and will see the light before the race is finally run.

Don't Panic!!!!

Oh great news for you WASP. I hope Mother and baby are doing well. Same to you also twright. They are indeed a joy.

an inquiry might reveal fortescue for the organised chaos that it is and sound its death knell.

Great news from NSW at least Battle of the Bulga

Tuesday, 19 May 2015
Blair Price
THE New South Wales Department of Planning and Environment is recommending that Rio Tinto’s 21-year life extension of the Mount Thorley Warkworth coal mining complex be approved without relocating the village of Bulga.

Mount Thorley Warkworth. Copyright Rio Tinto 2014.

The NSW Planning Assessment Commission said the relocation of the entire village (population about 350) should be given serious consideration on dust and noise-grounds as part of its recommendation for conditional approval of the 21-year Mount Thorley Warkworth life extension in early March.

However, the department did not consider this necessary.

“Our assessment found dust and noise impacts on the village would not be significantly greater than what Bulga is already experiencing,” a Department of Planning and Environment spokesperson said.

“There are a small number of houses where the noise criteria may be exceeded, and so the Department has recommended that these landowners are able to seek further mitigation to their properties from the mine’s operators.”

The Department of Planning and Environment has referred the project back to the Planning Assessment Commission for a final determination.

The NSW Minerals Council noted that about 85% of the 1891 submissions on the Mount Thorley Warkworth extension project during the six-week public exhibition phase were supportive.

“Importantly, around 90% of these supportive submissions were from the Hunter region, demonstrating strong local support for this project and the jobs it provides,” NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said.

The approval of the project is expected to save around 1300 jobs.

Rio had applied to maintain existing production rates of 18 million tonnes per annum run-of-mine from the Warkworth mine and 10Mtpa ROM from the Mount Thorley open cut, with the expansion areas falling on land owned by the mines and within existing mining leases.

Winston, in your definition or usage of racism, the term "climate change sceptic or denier' could be inserted in place of racism.

Off topic re the ABC on Smith's page
The ABC needs to spend an annualised $75,000 to employ a researcher to write Annabel Crabbe's questions on Kitchen Cabinet.

The job ad says the new EIEIO staffer will be involved in "preparing detailed and accurate research briefs on our political guests and helping to devise lines of questioning. We are looking for a candidate who is able to write with wit and flair, and conduct pre-interviews with confidence."

Just quietly - these days every interviewer I know, without fail, prepares their own stuff. Even smart-arse undergraduate big word stuff.

Perhaps the ABC should be introduced to Google