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National Miner, September 19, 1977, p. 10.

Because everything comes from the earth, the whole of civilisation as we know it today is based on mining.

Without mining, Australians’ standard of living would have to revert to that of the level of the cave man, which means that the total population which this continent could support would be somewhere in the vicinity of 400,000 souls.

In other words, the total of the Australian aborigines’ numbers that were in existence at the time of the arrival of the Europeans to these shores some 200 years ago.

The Australian aboriginal was the perfect ecologist; he didn’t mine, he didn’t till and therefore had to limit his numbers to that which unaided nature could provide.

When it comes to conducting their own business, Australian mining men can more than hold their own with those in other parts of the world.

Unfortunately, being proficient in your own business, mining or otherwise, is not enough today.

It is a sad reflection upon the state of our nation that a miner or a producer is not allowed to direct his sole energies towards producing wealth for himself and for the nation.

Unfortunately, he must divert the greater part of his energies towards coping with the Canberra bureaucracy and the militant unions or he will go under and the nation will be bankrupt without him.

The producer finds himself increasingly frustrated with an ever-mounting barrier of departmental sawdust sawing in Canberra, while at the same time having his best efforts subverted by ecologists and by the communist minority controlled trade unions endeavouring to bring about “The Quiet Revolution”.

The mining industry, if it is to survive, must first of all get it firmly fixed in everybody’s mind that the wealth of Australia is produced from less than one-third of one per cent of its total land surface.

So basic is the industry, that without it Australia would not exist.

Therefore, nothing must be allowed to interfere with that industry.

This axiom must be understood by every man, woman and child in Australia.

We are confronted with uninformed government interference at every level on an almost unbelievable scale, and done to death by encouragement given to environmentalists to wreck the mining industry (as well as other industries).

This encouragement is given at governmental level, both State and Federal. Unfortunately, the felony is compounded by some of the mining firms and people themselves.

Instead of banding together and crushing the harmful econut movement in its infancy (a movement which is largely financed from outside Australia by subversive interests), they endorse it and encourage it by squandering money on all forms of environmental impact studies, etc. They should be using their money to spread the basic gospel of mining’s absolute necessity to mankind.

In other words, they are encouraging the enemies of the nation into spreading the fallacy that the miners have a case to answer when in fact, they have no need to justify their existence to anybody because without the mining industry and all the many products it enables people to have, the world could not support more than a mere four million souls.

Put another way, the other 3,600 million would perish from this earth if it weren’t for mining.

Such has been my experience in Western Australia, that I do not believe in the ready acceptance of government of the people by the government for the government, resulting in Australia being one of the most over-governed and over-taxed countries of risk capital in the world, with one of the lowest GNP’s.

It seems to me to mark a decline in the Australian character of rugged individualism, to the point where we now seem to have adopted the philosophy “the world owes me a living”, and adopted as our national anthem the expression “the Government oughter”, house me, educate me, employ me, provide me with dental and medical care, tell me which countries to play cricket with and foster my desire to get something for nothing by riding “shotgun” over my gambling money on the stock exchange.

It is this spineless philosophy which I think leads us to the ready acceptance of government “planning”.

Instead of being deeply concerned about the growing violence and crime rate in our society, and in our militant unions, the emphasis is on corporate crime (whatever that means) and victimless crimes.

The first seems to occupy our legislators, our law courts and legal profession and the second (as much as the first) occupies our police force to the point where they are unable to give due attention to the protection of our citizens from some of the most heinous crimes in the nation’s history.

People who rely on newspapers to do their thinking for them are happy in the belief that government is some all-wise, mystical, fair-minded God which has a crystal ball enabling it to do all the thinking and planning for everyone for hundreds of years hence, and that it operates at all times to act for the benefit of the national interest in a perfectly fair manner — not subject to personal pressures or lobbyists and to protect the liberties of individuals at all costs.

Let me quote from a newspaper: “Australian taxpayers in the next few years will be digging deep into their pockets to help finance the vast new mineral projects which are planned.”

Could anything be more in error?

Let’s look at the Pilbara where over $2,000 million of private risk capital has been invested. This private money has built the schools, the hospitals, the gaols, the customs houses, the railways, the ports and towns and developed the world’s largest iron mines. In fact, for every man employed, $230,000 of private money has been spent on infrastructure which in capital cities is provided by the taxpayer.

Far from “Australian taxpayers digging deep into their pockets”, the government takes nearly half of all company profits, plus 66.67% of dividends plus royalty, plus income tax on all employees, plus direct and indirect tax of sub-contracting companies, plus import duties on materials, etc. and provides nothing in return except an ever increasing mountain of bureaucratic strangulation.

Such a mammoth misconception can only come about by forgetting that the tax on nothing is nothing!

How on earth can there by any possibility of taxpayers “digging deep into their pockets to help finance the vast new mineral projects that are proposed”! I ask you, how can a robber steal half a loaf of bread before it is baked?

The only way the taxpayer can be involved is if he allows his government (Liberal or Labor) to continue their socialist practises and waste his money on unsound schemes.

You might have heard of a certain Premier who wishes to borrow money over and above the staggering sums borrowed by the Loan Council to grow bird seed on the Ord River.

Four great fallacies which are prevalent in Australia today are responsible for many of our problems. They are:

  1. The theory that increased taxation reduced inflation;
  2. That governments act in the national interest; so justifying their interference in industry, etc.;
  3. The belief that mines not in existence yield taxes; and
  4. The Robin Hood Syndrome.

It is a tragedy that successive governments, simply for the sake of adding to bureaucratic power or scoring political points over their opponents, aggravate the cost price squeeze by increasing tax, royalty, and infrastructure loads, to the point where new proposals are not profitable.

An example can be seen by referring to the Pilbara iron field again.

No government created the ore, found the ore, proved the ore, nor developed the ore; they did not finance it nor even formulate the agreements under which Parliament granted rights to Hamersley Iron, Mount Newman, Goldsworthy or to Robe River.

The initial agreement was formulated by Hancock and Wright. The others were modelled on it. What I mean by this was we explained to Mr Val Duncan, head of Riotinto, that the State Government was without funds and without knowhow and that in order to secure the right to mine our discoveries a proposition would have to be made to the Government whereby all infrastructure etc. would be provided out of private funds with the Government providing nothing.

In other words, keep the governments out of it.

The Hamersley Iron Agreement, as signed after two years delay with the WA Government, was identical with the Hancock and Wright formula supplied to Riotinto.

Unfortunately, each succeeding agreement has done nothing for the industry and nothing for Australians. It has simply added greater power to the bureaucracy within this country as well as increasing enormously the cost of production and hence the price of ore to Japan.

This iron field, as I explained, was opened up purely with private risk capital invested by the much maligned multinationals, as a result of which Mr Court said his “government has spent less money in the North-West than any government in history” and yet, with such a bonus from private capital, each succeeding government agreement that was drawn up with various companies gave more and more power to an ever increasing number of civil servants. These government encroachments on private industry added immensely to the cost of both investment and production.

This interference has now reached such staggering proportions that, before even a $1,000 million mine could get under the way, 16 different departmental approvals (right down to the local Shire Clerk) have to be secured. Yet nothing of value has been added to help “Blow Joe”.

This type of socialist interference has flourished under Liberal Governments.

For instance, according to Western Intelligence Report, September, 1970, Sir Charles Court said:

[P]rojected rail networks [built with private money] will be government-owned, government-controlled, government-maintained and placed where the government feels they will best serve most big users more economically.

The companies [who paid for them] stake will be a contribution, possibly assessed on ratio usage, which will afford them freight concessions.

How about that for Liberal Party thinking? Can any socialist do better?

Let me say here that I believe in the basic free enterprise principles of the Liberal Party. I abhor their governments socialist practises.

This is at State level. On the Canberra level the picture is even worse.

Here we have a situation where, for the sole purpose of giving more power to the bureaucracy, the Australian Government brazenly dreamed up the idea of the export licence.

Why it should be necessary to limit the export of iron ore (of which in the Hamersley field alone there is some 125 million million tons) is beyond explanation other than that it is a blatant grab for power.

This position has got so bad that the power has now gravitated to one man who is not even an elected representative of the people.

By wielding this export licence power, one man has it within his grasp to bring Australia to its knees if he so wishes, or by muddled thinking.

I ask you! What happens to this power when “The Quiet Revolution” has been achieved and the communist-controlled unions complete their takeover of the Australian Government?

The main [issues] facing the commissioning of new projects — apart from government greed — are the problems of inflation and government encouragement of environmentalist movements, some of which have a common membership with the communist party.

In fact, they have at time been represented by avowed communists at international conventions.

Undoubtedly there are genuine well-meaning environmentalists.

If they had a genuine regard for the 4,000 million people who inhabit this earth they would press for the adoption in Australian (and expansion elsewhere) of the safest, cleanest, cheapest power that man has yet devised — nuclear power.

Its track record of safety is unapproachable by any other form of power yet developed on a commercial basis.

Governments are happy to be sidetracked by such irrational issues as “conservation” instead of wholeheartedly conserving the one thing of vital importance to the nation worth conserving, namely the value of the Australian currency.

Could there be anything more irrational than allowing econuts to destroy an industry such as mining which indispensable to the very existence of civilisation, especially as it occupies less than one-third of 1% of Australia’s total land surface.

Examples of the success of environmentalists to cripple the nation are: The Pacminex tragedy in WA; The Fraser Island repudiation; The uranium mining death knell.

Just as it was a combination of government interference and econut influence that crippled the development of fresh, adequate energy sources in the US that led to the OPEC countries being in a position to hold the world to ransom over oil prices, so it is that the same forces at work in Australia will sign the death knell of secondary mineral processing in this country.

For instance, I believe there will be no uranium exported or enriched, no nuclear power stations built, practically no fresh oil discovered, and no natural gas brought ashore in Australia.

We have missed the bus on all counts.

Now to conserve energy in the Jimmy Carter mould, the government will have to pass an act to ban energy consuming secondary mineral processing in Australia.

My statement that the Pilbara could be the Ruhr of South East Asia is no longer valid.

How then do we rectify the problem?

Unless the mining and primary industries are prepared to think and act as a body the only way of getting on top of the Canberra bureaucracy would be for Western Australia to secede under a constitution which limited the power of government and forced it to live on its income.

It should be possible to inspire a united front between the mining and primary industries. (They already have a common Minister in the person of Doug Anthony.)

Anthony is aware of the need to restore work incentives by advocating uniform tax of no more than 20%, and to ward off the coming energy crisis by mining our uranium as well as encouraging the discovery of oil by allowing the discoverer to receive world parity for any oil he does discover.

But Anthony, like Fraser, is powerless to act for reasons that I have explained.

What the industry needs is to:

  1. Acquire a powerful newspaper chain.
  2. Obtain the balance of power in the Senate.
  3. Aid the responsible element in the trade union movement to fight the communist element in their midst.
(in order of appearance on
  1. Ron Manners’ Heroic Misadventures
  2. Hancock's Australia
  3. Hancock on Government Help
  4. Wake Up Australia: Excerpts Part 1
  5. Wake Up Australia: Excerpts Part 2
  6. Lang Hancock's Five Point Plan to Cripple Australia
  7. Governments Consume Wealth — They Don't Create It
  8. Up the Workers! Bob Howard's 1979 Workers Party Reflection in Playboy
  9. Jump on the Joh bandwagon
  10. John Singleton and Bob Howard 1975 Monday Conference TV Interview on the Workers Party
  11. Governments — like a red rag to a Rogue Bull
  12. Lang Hancock's Pilbara-Queensland Railway Proposal
  13. Singo, Howard and Hancock Want to Secede
  14. Lang Hancock's Foreword to Rip Van Australia
  15. New party will not tolerate bludgers: Radical party against welfare state
  16. Small and Big Business Should Oppose Government, says Lang Hancock
  17. A Condensed Case for Secession
  18. Hancock gets tough over uranium mining
  19. Hancock's threat to secede and faith in Whitlam
  20. PM's sky-high promise to Lang
  21. Lang Hancock: "a catherine-wheel of novel suggestions"
  22. Govt "villain" in eyes of new party
  23. The spread of Canberra-ism
  24. Govt should sell the ABC, says Lang Hancock
  25. 1971 Monday Conference transcript featuring Lang Hancock
  26. Aborigines, Bjelke and the freedom of the press
  27. The code of Lang Hancock
  28. Why not starve the taxation monster?
  29. Lang Hancock 1978 George Negus Interview
  30. Party Promises to Abolish Tax
  31. Right-wing plot
  32. "The best way to help the poor is not to become one of them." - Lang Hancock
  33. WA's NCP commits suicide
  34. "You can't live off a sacred site"
  35. Hancock: King of the Pilbara
  36. Bludgers need not apply
  37. New party formed "to slash controls"
  38. Workers Party Reunion Intro
  39. Workers Party is born as foe of government
  40. Government seen by new party as evil
  41. Ron Manners on Lang Hancock
  42. Does Canberra leave us any alternative to secession?
  43. Bury Hancock Week
  44. Ron Manners on the Workers Party
  45. Lang Hancock on Australia Today
  46. Hancock and Wright
  47. Lang Hancock on Environmentalists
  48. Friends of free enterprise treated to financial tete-a-tete: Lang does the talking but Gina pulls the strings
  49. Lang Hancock, Stump Jumper
  50. Lang Hancock: giant of the western iron age
  51. The Treasury needs a hatchet man
  52. We Mine to Live
  53. Get the "econuts" off our backs
  54. 1971 Lang Hancock-Jonathan Aitken interview for Land of Fortune (short)
  55. Gina Rinehart, Secessionist
  56. 1982 NYT Lang Hancock profile
  57. Enter Rio Tinto
  58. Hamersley and Tom Price
  59. News in the West
  60. Positive review of Hancock speech
  61. Lang Hancock International Press Institute General Assembly speech, Canberra, 1978
  62. Australia's slide to socialism
  63. The Great Claim Robbery
  64. Why WA must go it alone
  65. Lang Hancock in 1976 on Public Picnics and Human Blights
  67. Resource Management in Australia: Is it possible?
  68. The gospel of WA secession according to Lang Hancock
  69. Crystal Balls Need Polishing
  70. Minerals - politicians' playthings?
  71. John Singleton-Ita Buttrose interview (1977)
  72. Boston Tea Party 1986 style, hosted by Lang Hancock and Bob Ansett
  73. Singo says Lang Hancock violated Australia's 11th commandment: Thou Shalt Not Succeed
  74. Singleton: the White Knight of Ockerdom
  75. Tactics change by Hancock
  76. Lang Hancock complains to Margaret Thatcher about Malcolm Fraser
  77. 'Phony crisis' seen as 'child of politics'
  78. Lang Hancock on nuclear energy
  79. Lang Hancock beats the left at their own game on civil liberties
  80. Lang Hancock's Favourite Books
  81. 1977 Lang Hancock Canberoo poem
  82. Hancock's playing very hard to get
  83. Hancock proposes a free-trade zone
  84. An Open Letter to Sir Charles Court
  85. John Singleton 1976 ocker Monday Conference Max Harris debate
  86. Lang Hancock in 1984 solves Australian politics
  87. Lang Hancock on the Workers Party, secession and States Rights
  88. Lang Hancock asks what happened to Australia's rugged individualism?
  89. Precis of Ludwig Plan for North-West
  90. Announcement that Lang Hancock will be guest of honour at the Workers Party launch
  91. Lang Hancock's March 1983 attempt to enlist "former presidents of nations and heads of giant companies" to save Australia
  92. Lang Hancock asks us to think how easily environmentalists are manipulated for political purposes
  93. Invest in free enterprise
  94. Democracy is dead in Australia and Lang Hancock's education
  95. Lang Hancock Incites Civil Disobedience
  96. Hancock sounds call to battle Canberra
  97. Mining policy a threat
  98. Over Whitlam's head
  99. Lang Hancock suggests that newspapers don't give space to politicians unconditionally
  100. Lang Hancock on saving Australia from socialism
  101. Secede or sink
  102. Australia can learn from Thatcher
  103. John Singleton. Horseracing. Why?
  104. How Lang Hancock would fix the economy
  105. Lang Hancock: victim of retrospective legislation
  106. Lang Hancock supports Joh for PM
  107. Hancock seeks miners' tax haven in the north
  108. The Ord River Dam
  109. Why Lang Hancock invested in Australia's film industry
  110. Lang Hancock's 1983 letters to The Australian: Lang's precedent for Steve Jobs, renaming the Lucky Country to the Constipated Country, and more
  111. Australia's biggest newspaper insider on manipulating the media
  112. 1980 Lang Hancock-Australian Penthouse Interview
  113. Canberra: bastion of bureaucracy
  114. Pilbara can be the Ruhr for South-East Asia
  115. 1982 Lang Hancock-John Harper Nelson Interview
  116. Australian elections are one of the greatest con games in history
  117. Our leaders are powerless
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