Fortescue Metal Group Chief executive Nev Power has urged the Government to resist the pressure from special interest groups and abolish taxpayer-funded protection of the car industry to save the country from financial turmoil similar to that of Greece.
According to a report from The Australian, Mr. Powers, who has a background in steelmaking, called on the Abbott Government to deny all request for subsidies and protection and stand up to the automotive industry and trade unions that are pressuring the Government.
“Beware of special interest groups that come looking for subsidies or protection; that will tear our economy down,” he told the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia function in Perth.
“If we start living in an environment where we expect entitlement, then we’ll end up looking like Greece eventually.”
Mr. Power said the car industry for the manufacture of passenger vehicles is only a fraction of the automotive industry in Australia and should not get special government treatment at the expense of other industries.
“Outside of the passenger vehicles, the only ones produced here, all of the financing, the dealerships, the repairs and spare parts, all of those bits and pieces, are delivered by locals.”
“When we talk about support for the car industry we are really talking about support for a tiny part of that sector.”
Mr. Power, who is an advocate for a major cost-saving initiative at Fortescue, also warned people to lower their expectations about high wages in the mining industry and called for focusing on creating a productive workforce.
“We need productive labour, we need efficient labour, we need labour that can add true value.”
Mr. Power has also leveled criticism to those who had declared the end of the mining boom and predicted strong future for iron ore industry, referring to China’s predicted economic growth in the next few decades.
“A lot of people have called the end of the mining boom, but I think it’s very narrow-minded and very narrow-sighted because we’ve seen the end of the first major construction boom.”
“We’re not seeing the end of the mining boom. Quite the opposite; we’re seeing the start of the mining boom, the start of the production boom in Australia,” said Mr. Power.