Rinehart scores jackpot with US state bank loan

Happy New Year and welcome to the wonderful world of Tony Abbott and his richest supporter, mega-billionaire Gina Rinehart.
In case you missed it in the Christmas rush, the world’s richest woman has pulled another jackpot to the tune of $784 million.
That’s the amount she has been given by a US Government agency, the Export Import Bank of the United States, to help finance her Roy Hill iron ore project in the Pilbara, WA.
The US line of credit, fully supported by Abbott, comes with one condition: Rinehart must purchase all her mining and rail equipment from three American corporations, Caterpillar, General Electric and Atlas Copco.
In other words, the Roy Hill venture is going to put money into the pockets of the directors and institutional shareholders of giant US multi-nationals. They will be the beneficiaries, not local companies.
And the US companies will employ their own technical, engineering and maintenance staff. So fewer skilled jobs for Australians as well.
No wonder Caterpillar’s group president for resource industries Steve Wanning applauded the deal saying: “By backing this project, Ex-Im Bank is bolstering US manufacturing competitiveness, supporting American jobs and promoting exports.”
On hand to hail the Rinehart funding deal was former ALP Resources Minister Martin Ferguson, aka “Marn Ferson”, who was farewelled from parliament with a puke-inducing tribute by then Opposition leader Tony Abbott.
”I congratulate Gina on her achievement,” Ferguson told the media the other day. “This brings us closer to attracting a major investment that will create real training and employment opportunities plus wealth for Australia.
”It is a good project and will put beyond any doubt that Gina Rinehart is a real miner and a major player in the Australian resources sector.”
He said the Roy Hill venture would “secure Ms Rinehart’s place in Australian history.” He did not say what as.
As Mines Minister Ferguson couldn’t do enough for Ms Rinehart, giving her a leg up whenever possible. Memorably he gave her a generous foreign worker allowance which permits her to import labour from Asian countries to work on the $10 billion project.
Roy Hill is a joint venture between Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting, Marubeni (Japan’s leading trading and investment corporation), POSCO (the South Korean steel-making giant) and China Steel Corporation.
They are quarrying iron ore – owned by the Australian people – and flogging it to Asia making super profits. The epic rip-off is supported by both sides of mainstream politics.

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