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Keynote Address to the Melbourne Mining Club “The Culture of Cycles”

In many ways it is quite apt that this is my last speech to any audience anywhere in my capacity as Chief Executive of the Minerals Council of Australia.


The Minerals Council of Australia welcomes the landmark Free Trade Agreement between Australia and South Korea announced today by Prime Minister Tony Abbott. South Korea is Australia’s third largest export market and minerals resources are Australia’s largest export earner at almost 9 per cent of total exports.


Today’s draft report by the Productivity Commission underscores the economic contribution of the minerals industry’s Fly-in Fly-out workforce debunking once and for all the claim that FIFO is a “cancer of the bush”.


The Chairman of the Minerals Council of Australia Andrew Michelmore today announced that Brendan Pearson will succeed current Chief Executive Officer Mitch Hooke, who retires from the position on 31 December 2013. Mr Pearson will join the MCA from Peabody Energy where he has been Vice President Government Relations and Corporate Affairs since February 2012. He previously served as Deputy Chief Executive of the MCA from November 2007 until January 2012. He has also worked in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, including in Washington DC, and for the Australian Financial Review, including as Japan and Korea correspondent based in Tokyo. “Brendan brings a rare blend of skills and experience in industry advocacy, government, the media and as a corporate adviser. As deputy CEO of the MCA, he made an important contribution to key policy advocacy including on carbon pricing and resources taxation. He has a strong appreciation of the challenges that the minerals industry faces over the medium term,” Mr Michelmore said. Mr Michelmore paid tribute to the contribution of retiring CEO Mitch Hooke who has led the MCA since April 2002. “Mitch has been an outstanding leader of the MCA for more than a decade. He combined sound policy judgment, innovative thinking and outstanding advocacy skills. He has been an influential player in Australian public policy for nearly 25 years and can be proud of his contribution to a raft of major national economic reforms over that time. He leaves with the industry’s gratitude and goodwill.” Mr Pearson will take up the role in the New Year. Editor’s note: Additional biographical details Brendan Pearson has been Vice President of Government Relations and Corporate Affairs at Peabody Energy since February 2012. Before joining Peabody Energy, Brendan served as Deputy Chief Executive of the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) from 2007-2012. Before joining the MCA, Brendan was Assistant Secretary of the Environment Branch at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and in 2006 served as Lead Negotiator on Services and Intellectual Property negotiations as part of the Doha Round of global trade negotiations. From 1999 to 2005 Brendan was a senior writer for the Australian Financial Review serving as that newspaper’s Tokyo-based North Asia correspondent from January 2002 to August 2004.  From 1999 to 2002, Brendan covered trade policy issues for the AFR in the Parliamentary Press Gallery in Canberra. From 1996 to 1999, Brendan served as Counsellor (Trade Policy) at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC following three years working on the formative years of the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation forum in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra. Brendan has a Master of Philosophy in International Relations from the University of Cambridge and an Honours degree in Politics and History from the Australian National University.

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