Rinehart’s critique of Aussie economy triggers personal attacks

Gina Rinehart has raised the ire of the Australian public again with a ten minute Youtube speech on the shortcomings of the country’s economy which has triggered ad hominem attacks from leading political figures.

In a ten minute speech posted on the Sydney Mining Club website Gina Rinehart paints a tenebrous picture of Australia’s position in the global economy, saying that high labor costs and over-regulation are rendering the country uncompetitive:

Now the evidence is inarguable that Australia is indeed becoming too expensive and too uncompetitive to do export-oriented business, businesses that must sell their product in the world economy and world market, not at Australian prices. What was too readily argued as the self-interested complaints of a greedy few is now becoming the accepted truth.

Rinehart makes pointed reference to labor costs, observing that the willingness of Africans to work for two dollars a day makes the region an appealing low-cost investment destination, and that labor costs are 35% higher in Australia than the United States gulf coast which could “have lower labor costs still if they utilize illegal labor from Mexico and the south.”

She is also highly critical of the Gillard government, saying that “this country simply can’t afford a carbon tax or minerals resource rent tax” and decrying over-regulation in the form of excessive “green and red tape.”

Her online remarks have brought forth strong and immediate censure, with Greens leader Christine Milne launching a personal attack against Rinehart as the “the epitome of the greed and the abuse of the environment that has become such a characteristic of the mining industry in Australia.”

Treasurer Wayne Swan also launched a salvo of stinging attacks, saying Australians were fed up with Rinehart’s “almost-daily pearl rattling” and sledging her for her stance on labor.

“Not only has Gina Rinehart told her paymaster Tony Abbott he should consider slashing the minimum wage, now she’s says a competitive way to lower labour costs is by utilising illegal labour,” said Swan.

This marks the second occasion in only a week that Rinehart’s remarks have triggered widespread public acrimony, with her calls for a reduction in Australia’s minimum wage levels and her characterization of detractors as jealous and lazy leading to sharp criticism from Swan and union leaders last Thursday.

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Image and footage courtesy of the Sydney Mining Club via Youtube

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