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International Competitiveness Critical

Delegates at CME’s 112th Annual General Meeting have been told the Western Australian resource sector needs to focus on our international competitiveness in order to continue prosper into the future.

CME Chief Executive Reg Howard-Smith said while resource sector growth has delivered real benefits to the community, the sector faced major challenges including commodity price volatility and the high cost of doing business in Australia.

“Given volatile market dynamics, capital and labour productivity have now become a focus of maintaining WA resource project competiveness,” said Mr Howard-Smith

“When combined with decreasing ore grades and new minerals and energy rich regions emerging around the world, the level of competition in the global resources sector is increasing for Western Australia,” said Mr Howard-Smith.

To establish a future pipeline of projects we rely upon increasing exploration activity here in WA.

Of particular interest to WA companies are ways to boost exploration activity, such as the Canadian flow through shares scheme. CME believes it is time for the Australian Government to implement an Australian version on this scheme as it promised ahead of the 2007 election.

Locally, the WA Government is focused on boosting exploration activity and the future prosperity of WA through its Exploration Incentive Scheme. Programs such as these are welcomed by the resource sector and will deliver a significant return to the people of WA.

“Australia needs to be an attractive destination to explore for commodities and develop resource projects to deliver ongoing prosperity,” said Mr Howard-Smith.

“Ahead of the forthcoming federal election, CME will be providing political parties with policy initiatives which will assist in improving our international competitiveness.

With the focus on our international competitiveness, Kevan Cowan, President of the Toronto Stock Exchange discussed with delegates the challenges of raising capital in the current environment and the benefits of dual listing for resource sector companies.

Today’s AGM also awarded life membership to two industry leaders who had both made significant contributions to development and prosperity of Western Australia’s resource sector.

Kim Horne served as the CME President for six terms over a period of 8 years. Kim commenced his career with Alcoa over thirty years ago, Alcoa being the global leader in alumina production and Australia’s sixth largest resources sector exporter.

Kim’s career includes many highlights, his focus on safety, improving workforce diversity through building stronger female employment levels in the sector, his commitment to environmental outcomes and mine rehabilitation and being responsible for benchmarking world-class mining within Alcoa, are particularly outstanding and worthy of recognition

Nick Bowen served as the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of MacMahon Holdings Ltd. and MVM Rail Pty Ltd. from February 2000 to September 2012. He has been a member of CME’s Executive Council since 2001, retiring late last year.

Nick has 25 years experience in the contracting industry. His experience covers open cut mining, underground mining and civil engineering in both Australia and overseas. He was a Director of Australian Constructors Association Limited since 2000 and has been Executive Chairman of Tempo Australia Limited since March 2013. He serves as a Director of Asia Pacific Transport Pty Ltd.

Reg Howard-Smith paid tribute to the efforts of both recipients of CME Life Membership.

“They have both helped successfully guide the advocacy priorities of the chamber through sometimes very challenging circumstances,” Mr Howard-Smith said.

“Their leadership and counsel have been first-class. The CME team and membership thank them for their contribution.”

Rio Tinto’s Greg Lilleyman was also endorsed for another term as CME President.