The public knows where to buy things they need, but seldom considers their origins. As far as they are concerned, food comes from a supermarket, electricity comes from a plug on the wall, motor cars from a dealer, luxury appliances from a departmental store, and so on. They probably credit the creation of these necessities of life as coming from factories, power stations and even farms, whereas in fact they all begin with mining because everything comes from the earth. You either mine it or you grow it, and you can’t even grow it until first of all you mine the fertiliser with which to make things grow.
Without minerals we could not till our soil, build our machines, supply our energy, transport our goods or maintain any society beyond the most primitive. Our horn of plenty starts with a hole in the ground.
We are in great trouble if we forget it and people in Australia, particularly in Canberra and government circles generally, have forgotten it, whilst it would seem that the western world generally has never known it.
Throughout history civilisations have been shaped by the use of minerals. Mineral supplies have determined the rise and fall of empires, pattern of populations and the evolution of human enterprise in industry and rising living standards.
2. Grave Digging
The western world is mainly dependent for its existence on the minerals of Africa and yet the media of the world seems to have so little realisation of this fact that they are, in the main, doing their best to destroy this vital lifeline to their very existence. By helping to foment a bloodbath by power-hungry, militant, revolutionary groups whose main aim is not to benefit their own country, but to put into practise for their own selfish interest the philosophy of the 3 M’s — Mistresses, Mansions and Motor cars.
The great bulk of people have probably never seen a mine and yet it is the foundation of their very existence with an impact that touches on everyone’s life. How could we live today without motor cars, telephones and modern medicine? Few people realise that at automobile is made almost entirely of minerals — iron, bauxite, copper — even its tyres contain minerals. A colour T.V. set contains about 35 and a telephone about 40 minerals.
3. Two Socialist Governments
In Australia today we are a people without choice; both government and opposition are strongly socialist. Labor preaches socialism, the Liberal Government practises it. The Chipp phenomenon emphasises this lack of choice.
Ours is a country which has been carried for years on the sheep’s back but now, thankfully, has a two-pronged economy — wool and minerals. Our governments, Liberal and Labor, whenever they need money or a political chopping block, turn automatically to crucify mining; having already signed the death warrant of the pastoral industry.
4. Foreign Capital Essential
They stop mining’s need for capital at its source; they bring in a Variable Deposit Rule; they make all sorts of absurd stipulations about requiring 50 or even 75% Australian capital participation without realising that there is no such thing as a major Australian company; they impose super royalties, super tax and resource tax; they take away security of tenure and repudiate contracts; with the consequence that Australia, with every resource known to mankind, except leadership, has a growth rate one-fifth that of Singapore, a country with no resources whatsoever other than that of leadership.
Because of this stagnation we are faced now with a danger (the energy crisis) beside which inflation, unemployment, and even nuclear warfare, become insignificant. Failure to start in time to build nuclear energy plants must inevitably mean the delay of Australia’s major cities.
In a “stagnant society” the bureaucrat is king. His taxes, regulations and power struggles replace the free market mechanism and, like the local barber, he finds himself invested by the Prime Minister’s sycophants with the wisdom of Solomon. Knowing this to be so, the bureaucrat resents the profligacy of abundance. In a healthy or creative society too many people go around inventing new sources of wealth, raising the standard of living, making things (of a constructive nature); for instance, Hancock and Wright built a causeway to Ronsard Island without bureaucratic permission.
Obviously such productive people cannot be tolerated by the bureaucrat; they must be managed and controlled. However, some people object to being managed, even for their own good, and so first they must be frightened and subdued which is why, in the best ideological circles, it is proper to say that capitalism which has given Australia such a high standard of living, is cruel, ignorant, self seeking and wasteful.
6. The New Elite
In today’s world, through miseducation, we have the development of what is known as the “new elite” embracing the academic, the econut and the bureaucratic interest, insisting on government regulation of all markets by a host of ambitious Panikin bosses (planners, professors of social sciences, failed journalists, officials and parasites) who talk of building a new utopia out of the slum of capitalism.
Most of these people in the “new class” have never created anything. They have never provided employment, never invented anything or contributed in any way to the national wealth. Yet they have deep convictions about what the public should have and what it should not have, and how they should distribute other people’s wealth — not create it.
7. Negative Policies
In line with the above is President Carter’s negative thinking on the energy problem. The Carter plan places one-sided emphasis on conservation whilst it neglects, entirely, incentives to produce more energy.
We in Australia will be out of oil in 10 years with little hope of finding more or developing the North-West gas because of government intervention, and yet we have made it impossible for ourselves, again through government intervention, to enter the nuclear age. Something which we could easily do by firstly mining our vast quantities of uranium and turning it into the safest, cleanest, cheapest power that mankind has yet devised.
It has been computed that over the next 5 years an additional 400 million souls will inhabit this earth. Are we going to let them freeze in the dark along with many millions more because of the looming energy crisis — a crisis which Australia, as a resource rich country, is doing so little to cure?
8. Energy Sources
The world at present is relying on three practical commercial sources of energy, namely oil, coal and nuclear, with 43 of the most advanced nations already opting for nuclear fuel as being the cleanest and safest means of bridging the energy gap.
According the the London Mining Journal of August 12, 1977: “Oil reserves are considered to be such that there is no certainty that they will be able to provide a substantial proportion of the world’s energy requirements after the end of the present century and coal has been increasingly regarded as the fuel of the future. However, little consideration has been given to the hazards of burning ever greater quantities of coal, apart from the effect of CO2 emissions.”
If the world were to give way to the cries of the subversive elements in our midst who wish to bring down the present order, they would stop the 200 nuclear power plants which are operating safely throughout the world today. This would mean that the energy gap could be filled by coal, i.e. if it could be filled at all.
Seeing that coal injuries would out at 34 per million tons of coal produced, it would mean a death toll of something like 30,000 per year from the mining, transportation and generation of coal. Compare this with no death from nuclear power stations; judging by nuclear energy’s fantastic safety record to date.
Whilst the world’s growing need for energy is so desperate, it does not do to turn one’s back on any possible source of energy, but one does need to be practical. In this respect it is not much use looking to such things as solar power for instance to make any appreciable difference to the astronomical quantities of energy of which the world is increasingly in need. In practise, solar power is not only 10 times more costly than nuclear power, but infinitely less safe. Solar power is already environmentally unacceptable for establishing a power station to serve the large scale needs of industry in a large metropolis.
Even on a household scale, one should not become too starry eyed. In fact, it may pay to be guided by the experience of Professor Karl Boer, Professor of Physics and Engineering at the University of Delaware and Chairman of Solar Energy Systems. It is reported that he spent $16,000 on a house system, only to find it provided only 15% of the house’s energy requirements instead of the expected 60% — rather costly heat.
9. No Nor-West Gas
By way of another remote alternative, let’s look at the government’s naive approach to the much publicised North-West gas as a source of energy. Put in perspective it represents .085% of 1% of the published reserves of the Middle East, and its chances of getting going, due to government interference, may be somewhat in the same proportion.
At this moment there is no guarantee that even one therm of gas, buried as it has been for millions of years deep off West Australia’s coast, will ever see the light of day.
Any tax changes introduced by governments can have a major impact on Shelf economies.
If suddenly some government decided to impose the threatened energy resource tax on mining ventures in Australia, the prospect of financing the scheme would recede even further.
Imagine investing $3,000 million in a project that you know will show no profit for at least a decade.
Add to that awesome gamble a relatively untried technology (the platform will be 3 times the height of the Sydney Harbour Bridge); and tough sales contracts that leave you with a multi-million dollar penalty for delivery delays; and you have put the North-West Shelf Natural Gas Project in some kind of perspective.
The only humane and practical alternative is nuclear power. Again this means a volte-face of both Liberal and Labor policies.
10. Nuclear Power
Because of the weakness of Australian Governments, Liberal and Labor, we have bungled our chance of bridging the energy gap either by the full scale development of our oil or uranium potential. We could however turn to a more costly but at least practical major source of power.
Now that the world oil price has suffered a fourfold increase, tidal power in certain selected regions has become viable.
Let’s then look at the Kimberleys more closely where we could select just one of the many sites and generate some six times the total power that is as at present being generated in Australia from all sources. It would be a comparatively simple job to distribute this power by a modern two-wire grid to every capital city in Australia at a fraction of the cost of the proposed trans-continental pipeline systems.
Besides the enormous cost factor of these trans-continental pipelines to convey gas across Australia, one essential feature which which seems to be entirely overlooked by most of the academic theorists is that we have not as yet got the gas to put in them.
12. Solar Power
Admittedly, cost-wise, tidal power runs a poor third to nuclear and oil power, but at least it is practical and there are a few schemes in operation throughout the world, which something that cannot be said for some of the dreamtime theories such as solar power.
It should not be forgotten that solar power has been around for a lot longer than nuclear power and yet there is no such thing as a commercial solar power station in existence on this power-hungry globe of ours.
13. The Canberra Calamity
Why is it then that we, who are endowed with so much of nature’s gifts, are in such an unholy mess of stagnation today? The answer of course lies here in Canberra, a city which which has no justification for existence. It is the source of ever-growing centralised power; seat of an enormous “do nothing” bureaucracy which casts a dead hand on every facet of Australian life, whilst its dynamos of human inertia spend their time sawing sawdust or expanding their empires.
Firstly we have the enormous Civil Service citadels in Canberra expanding according to Parkinson’s Law; too powerful to be checked by any government. Unsackable, brilliantly capable in the art of building their own department empires — writing their own conditions as to salary and perks. An inbuilt springboard of inflation.
Secondly there is the communist-controlled trade unions manipulated by a few permanently elected heads sworn to bring about “The Quiet Revolution”. Clever, dedicated, ruthless people.
Thirdly we have the powerful manufacturing lobby which seems able to impose its own tariffs and quotas more or less at will and then indulge in sweetheart deals with the unions, knowing full well that they can again recover their margin by still higher tariffs.
Fourthly we have the media which flourishes on leaks by some of the bureaucrats when they wish to destroy a minister, a prime minister or a government which is behaving not to their own liking.
Fifthly, and very much last and very much disadvantaged by comparison intellectually, we have the so-called elected representatives of the people from whose number is selected a cabinet which has so little regard for the parliament or the people that elected them, that they will introduce as many as 500 bills in one session of parliament (some 85 sittings), knowing full well that most of the bills are beyond the comprehension of the normal parliamentarians. Even if they were capable of being understood, how could any man in all honesty cope with more than three or four bills a year, let alone hundreds during the few days that they do sit.
15. Ministers Hard Working
Most of these minister are hard working triers, but forced to tread water in the “stagnant State” because if Malcolm Fraser, with the best will in the world, backed by the greatest majority in Australia’s history, is powerless to act, what hope is there for any government?
Contrast this with the awesome power of the Canberra bureaucracy where one man has the power to disrupt the nation. This is illustrated by him having the authority to impose export bans or grant export licences. You can see the havoc that is being wrought on Australia with the latest examples of the exercise of his Hitler-like power, namely the closing of Fraser Island, the violation of contracts and the embargo on the export of uranium. This is a power which must be removed from the statute books henceforth. No government should be given such awesome power.
How then is this inbuilt formula for destruction ever to be brought to an end? The answer would seem to lie in economic secession with either W.A. or Queensland taking the lead. Queensland earns more foreign exchange than New South Wales and Victoria combined, whereas W.A. earns nearly as much. If these States were to remove themselves from the economic stranglehold of Canberra by seceding under a constitution which limits the power of government, then other States would be forced to follow suit and possibly re-group under circumstances whereby never again could such a menace as Canberra be formed, because it would be unconstitutional to do so.
What do others think of our north?
According to a visiting professor who, in speaking of northern Australia, particular Queensland and Western Australia, said:
“The two States would be the richest places on earth within 20 or 30 years. Australia could become one of the most powerful nations on earth, with the centres of power in Perth and Brisbane instead of at the south-east corner of the country. Australia’s position in the world could be similar to that now held by the oil-rich Arabs in the Middle East.”
I think there are sufficient facts available to show that Australia must develop the north or perish. We need, not only steel mills and railways, but all kinds of development if we are to hold our country. The point is how do we go about it without impoverishing the taxpayer?
One thing we do know and that is, we don’t want the huge costly departments, the high tariffs, the planners, the co-ordinators, the regional councils, the northern development authorities, the transport boards and the staggering amount of money wasted on education, the soft sciences, the CSIRO, the AIDC, the EPA, and all the other trappings of the socialist state. These institutions create nothing, and achieve nothing, beyond the dissipation of public funds in inflationary directions. We certainly do not need the crippling taxation which is necessary to support them.
18. Develop Australia
The practical way to develop Australia’s richest and most vulnerable area (without cost to the taxpayer) is to declare north of the 26th parallel of Western Australia, the Northern Territory and a part of north-western Queensland (to be defined), a frontier country, and in that frontier create a deliberate anomaly of a 100% income tax free holiday for a trial period of 20 years, with a 40% re-investment clause applicable to capital only, in order the qualify for this 100% income tax immunity.
Wage and salary earners would be exempt from this re-investment provision so that they would get the benefit in their first pay envelope.
Such a scheme would attract capital “know-how” and highly qualified technicians from all over the world, as well as from within Australia from those living south of the 26th parallel.
The point to remember about this is that it applies to income tax only, so that if this tax is foregone in order to get the scheme going, developments would soon snowball to the point where the indirect tax exceeded by far the amount of income tax lost from current businesses. In addition, once new projects were developed, they would generate their own field of ever-mounting indirect tax following to the Treasury. In this way no one can say that we are asking for a big hand-out scheme. We are asking the Commonwealth Government to be business-like and forgo a sprat in order to catch the biggest mackerel in the sea.
No one is asking Canberra for a giant hand-out like the $600 million Snowy River scheme, the Ord River white elephant or the controversial Sydney Opera House. On the contrary, the government is being offered a development scheme for the north and the means of self-preservation for the whole of Australia; free gratis and for nothing as far as the ultimate cost to the taxpayer is concerned.
Surely with the stakes so high and the danger so great to the north of us, it is not asking too much of leadership to display a little courage by making the north income tax free for a trial period of twenty years.
In the instances where this move became successful in starting up new projects the gain is 100% to the Treasury because the tax on nothing is nothing. In other words, minerals in the ground pays no tax, pays no royalty, creates no jobs, earns no foreign exchange.
$22.8 million was profit of which
$12.9 million was paid in shareholders dividends upon which the Treasury reaped tax.
$11.9 million royalty
$ 5 million payroll tax, plus sales tax,
and excise duties on the millions of dollars worth of equipment Mt. Isa Mines buys, plus stamp duty, land tax and profits from rail freight charges, not forgetting that the Treasury also receives all the indirect taxes on everything that the employees buy.
These indirect taxes would increase from existing projects as well as springing into being from minerals at present unworked and yielding nothing.
Since 1960, income tax revenue has risen per unit of output by a massive 340%.
Net wage and salary payments (this is, after tax) increased by 157%.
Running a miserable last, net corporate profits have increased by a mere 72%. Well behind inflation.
20. No Scheme Acceptable Unless It Expands A Department
The fact that nothing has been done on a governmental level to develop the most vital parts of Australia is not because there are no intelligent people in Canberra, but simply because the tax free scheme does not appeal to the self-interest of those in influential places. For instance, it does not envisage the rapid expansion of any large government department, whilst as a source of votes in he political field, the Pilbara (regarded by the Russians as “the pearl of Australia”) has not got a single representative in the Federal Parliament.
21. The Tax Weapon
In trying to illustrate how the tax weapon can be used to help cure Australia’s economic ills, starting with the housewives’ inflation, it may be of interest if I repeat the gist of a telex that I sent to the Prime Minister and several of his ministers just prior to his election.
The way to check inflation is not by quoting statistics which nobody believes, but by halting it for the housewife and hence the wage earner where it hits hardest; namely, the supermarket where it can be stopped dead in its tracks by introducing a negative sales tax on all items affecting the cost of living exactly equivalent to the amount of inflation.
To hold wages static, give a tax credit as a substitute for a wage rise.
To hold prices static, give a tax credit in lieu of a price rise to the producer.
Where does this money come from? Well! here is the big kill! Install a hatchet man as the permanent head of Treasury with strict instructions from the Cabinet to cut down every government department, State and Federal, right across the board equally by say, 10 or 15% or some such percentage as well balance the budget by the end of the government’s three year term in office.
By doing this you will have hit the main cause of inflation at its source; namely, government squandering of taxpayers’ funds.
22. Cause and Effect
If the above measures were adopted the tide will be capable of being turned for Australia, which means that instead of being priced out of the world markets as we are today, the reverse would be the case, and increasingly so, as time went on.
Australia, in common with other western countries, is suffering from the major causes of the present prolonged depression:
- Too many government regulations restricting mining and business generally, particularly in the world’s major economy, the United States.
- The growth of the environmental anti-profit cult, whose restrictions on the oil industry’s development (with emphasis on the United States) and nuclear power have made the OPEC monopoly possible.
- The fourfold increase in the price of energy through OPEC.
- Imbalance in trade and liquidity due to high tariffs, OPEC and unwise extension of bank credit to the governments of so-called developing countries.
- Lack of security of tenure through government confiscations.
- Excessive income tax.
Australia’s increasing oil import bill alone will wreck our economy unless the Canberra stranglehold can be broken to allow huge export earning mining projects and other export industries to be got under way and flourishing profitably.
According to the P.M., there are about $6,000 million worth of Australian natural resource products ready to go but unfortunately without a radical change in government policy none will go because the facts of life are that our mining industry is in a state of Canberra created crisis. The last five years have seen more shut-downs, cutbacks, losses and deferments in the mining industry than at any time since the 1930 depression.
We’ve seen gold mining decimated with the closure of Great Boulder, Hill 50, Lake View, North Kalgurlie and Mount Charlotte; base metal mines to close include Gunpower, Kanmantoo, Carr-Boyd, Scotia, Mount Diamond, Mount Gunson and Mount Evelyn; mining for manganese and molybdenum has virtually ceased on the mainland of Australia; beach mining has ceased on Fraser Island and Jurien Bay. As well as these closures we have seen cutbacks at Cobar, Tennant Creek, Kambalda, Aberfoyle and in the beach sand industry. The Warrego Smelter and the Bellambi coke plant have closed.
It is futile for any Australia to expect any action to be taken by highlighting these home truths. It needs something as powerful as the world press to focus on us. It would be in the best interests of Australia and the resource consuming western world if international opinion could be brought to bear on the Fraser Government to force it to depart radically from the practise of its predecessor in office and turn to the path of free enterprise in a vigorous and healthy manner. Admittedly it would take courage on the part of the Fraser Government to stand up to the powerful central Canberra bureaucracy, but courage must be drawn from somewhere if Australia is to emerge from its present “stagnant state”.
It would need a complete reversal of government policy (Liberal and Labor) to move us out of our “stagnant state” because our present system is such that instead of working, most people try to get rich by using government to steal from his neighbour. Our whole society has become stagnant, negative and divided as everyone fights for a place at the public trough. This malaise seems incapable of being cured unless we secede under a constitution which limits the power of government, loyal to the Crown with full right of appeal to this Privy Council.
- Ron Manners’ Heroic Misadventures
- Hancock's Australia
- Hancock on Government Help
- Wake Up Australia: Excerpts Part 1
- Wake Up Australia: Excerpts Part 2
- Lang Hancock's Five Point Plan to Cripple Australia
- Governments Consume Wealth — They Don't Create It
- Up the Workers! Bob Howard's 1979 Workers Party Reflection in Playboy
- Jump on the Joh bandwagon
- John Singleton and Bob Howard 1975 Monday Conference TV Interview on the Workers Party
- Governments — like a red rag to a Rogue Bull
- Lang Hancock's Pilbara-Queensland Railway Proposal
- Singo, Howard and Hancock Want to Secede
- Lang Hancock's Foreword to Rip Van Australia
- New party will not tolerate bludgers: Radical party against welfare state
- Small and Big Business Should Oppose Government, says Lang Hancock
- A Condensed Case for Secession
- Hancock gets tough over uranium mining
- Hancock's threat to secede and faith in Whitlam
- PM's sky-high promise to Lang
- Lang Hancock: "a catherine-wheel of novel suggestions"
- Govt "villain" in eyes of new party
- The spread of Canberra-ism
- Govt should sell the ABC, says Lang Hancock
- 1971 Monday Conference transcript featuring Lang Hancock
- Aborigines, Bjelke and the freedom of the press
- The code of Lang Hancock
- Why not starve the taxation monster?
- Lang Hancock 1978 George Negus Interview
- Party Promises to Abolish Tax
- Right-wing plot
- "The best way to help the poor is not to become one of them." - Lang Hancock
- WA's NCP commits suicide
- "You can't live off a sacred site"
- Hancock: King of the Pilbara
- Bludgers need not apply
- New party formed "to slash controls"
- Workers Party Reunion Intro
- Workers Party is born as foe of government
- Government seen by new party as evil
- Ron Manners on Lang Hancock
- Does Canberra leave us any alternative to secession?
- Bury Hancock Week
- Ron Manners on the Workers Party
- Lang Hancock on Australia Today
- Hancock and Wright
- Lang Hancock on Environmentalists
- Friends of free enterprise treated to financial tete-a-tete: Lang does the talking but Gina pulls the strings
- Lang Hancock, Stump Jumper
- Lang Hancock: giant of the western iron age
- The Treasury needs a hatchet man
- We Mine to Live
- Get the "econuts" off our backs
- 1971 Lang Hancock-Jonathan Aitken interview for Land of Fortune (short)
- Gina Rinehart, Secessionist
- 1982 NYT Lang Hancock profile
- Enter Rio Tinto
- Hamersley and Tom Price
- News in the West
- Positive review of Hancock speech
- Lang Hancock International Press Institute General Assembly speech, Canberra, 1978
- Australia's slide to socialism
- The Great Claim Robbery
- Why WA must go it alone
- Lang Hancock in 1976 on Public Picnics and Human Blights
- MILLIONAIRE PUTS MONEY BEHIND SECESSIONISTS
- Resource Management in Australia: Is it possible?
- The gospel of WA secession according to Lang Hancock
- Crystal Balls Need Polishing
- Minerals - politicians' playthings?
- John Singleton-Ita Buttrose interview (1977)
- Boston Tea Party 1986 style, hosted by Lang Hancock and Bob Ansett
- Singo says Lang Hancock violated Australia's 11th commandment: Thou Shalt Not Succeed
- Singleton: the White Knight of Ockerdom
- Tactics change by Hancock
- Lang Hancock complains to Margaret Thatcher about Malcolm Fraser
- 'Phony crisis' seen as 'child of politics'
- Lang Hancock on nuclear energy
- Lang Hancock beats the left at their own game on civil liberties
- Lang Hancock's Favourite Books
- 1977 Lang Hancock Canberoo poem
- Hancock's playing very hard to get
- Hancock proposes a free-trade zone
- An Open Letter to Sir Charles Court
- John Singleton 1976 ocker Monday Conference Max Harris debate
- Lang Hancock in 1984 solves Australian politics
- Lang Hancock on the Workers Party, secession and States Rights
- Lang Hancock asks what happened to Australia's rugged individualism?
- Precis of Ludwig Plan for North-West
- Announcement that Lang Hancock will be guest of honour at the Workers Party launch
- Lang Hancock's March 1983 attempt to enlist "former presidents of nations and heads of giant companies" to save Australia
- Lang Hancock asks us to think how easily environmentalists are manipulated for political purposes
- Invest in free enterprise
- Democracy is dead in Australia and Lang Hancock's education
- Lang Hancock Incites Civil Disobedience
- Hancock sounds call to battle Canberra
- Mining policy a threat
- Over Whitlam's head
- Lang Hancock suggests that newspapers don't give space to politicians unconditionally
- Lang Hancock on saving Australia from socialism
- Secede or sink
- Australia can learn from Thatcher
- John Singleton. Horseracing. Why?
- How Lang Hancock would fix the economy
- Lang Hancock: victim of retrospective legislation
- Lang Hancock supports Joh for PM
- Hancock seeks miners' tax haven in the north
- The Ord River Dam
- Why Lang Hancock invested in Australia's film industry
- Lang Hancock's 1983 letters to The Australian: Lang's precedent for Steve Jobs, renaming the Lucky Country to the Constipated Country, and more
- Australia's biggest newspaper insider on manipulating the media
- 1980 Lang Hancock-Australian Penthouse Interview
- Canberra: bastion of bureaucracy
- Pilbara can be the Ruhr for South-East Asia
- 1982 Lang Hancock-John Harper Nelson Interview
- Australian elections are one of the greatest con games in history
- Our leaders are powerless