More help needed from Government: Orica boss

Explosives maker Orica has called on the Government to do more to help manufacturers struggling with rising costs and the high exchange rate.

Fairfax Media reports Orica CEO Ian Smith told the Melbourne Mining Club the Federal Government needed to work on making Australia's industry “the most cost competitive and open market we can”.

 

In particular Smith said the dollar might stay above parity for the next five to ten years, and new policy was needed to help businesses cope with the challenge.

 

“We haven't got any actual policies in place that reduce the Aussie dollar,” he said.

 

But while manufacturers faced difficult conditions Smith said the longer-term outlook was positive.

 

“At the moment we might be going through some hiccups, and gas may be thrust into the equation. But the general trend point is there,” he said.

 

Smith's criticism follows the Central Highlands Regional Council's move to approve Orica's new explosives manufacturing plant east of Dingo in Queensland.

 

The plant was approved in a vote five in favour to four against, with some members expressing concern over the site's safety, security, and impact on local roads.