ADDRESS TO THE 2017 AUSTRALIAN Minerals Industry Parliamentary Dinner

Prime Minister, parliamentarians, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

My name is Brendan Pearson, the chief executive of the Minerals Council of Australia.

Thank you all for your attendance this evening.

At the outset I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet - the Ngunnawal people - and pay our respects to their elders past and present.

I am certain you will have greatly enjoyed and appreciated the national anthem sung beautifully by the Gondwana choir.

I understand that tonight’s performance was the first time that the National Anthem has been sung in the Ngunnawal language.

The choir will be back later in the evening for another performance.

I thank the sponsors of tonight's event.

Our principal sponsor, Dyno Nobel represented tonight by CEO Simon Atkinson.

Our gold sponsor Rio Tinto, represented by chief executive, Jean Sebastian Jacques.

Our silver sponsor, ANZ, represented by managing director of institutional banking, Graeme Turley.

Our silver sponsor, Peabody Energy, headed by President - Australia, George Schuller.

And our bronze sponsor Maptek, represented by managing director, Peter Johnson.

Tonight is the annual opportunity for the minerals industry to get together with a wide spectrum of our partners.

We especially welcome the Prime Minister, members of his cabinet as well as parliamentarians from all the major parties and the cross bench.

We are joined by senior policy makers from a range of departments of state, independent agencies and regulatory bodies,

Indigenous leaders,

the scientific and research community including CSIRO and many major universities,

leaders of the diplomatic community,

Australia’s most important think tanks,

our indispensable partners in the mining technology and services sector,

the financial sector,

Australia’s best economists and economic modellers and,

of course, our friends in the media.

We are delighted to all be joined by the leaders of one of Australia’s most important cultural institutions, the National Library. 

I also want to particularly welcome the current and former resources ministers here tonight. 

But we are saddened by the fact that former Labor Resources Minister Gary Gray cannot be with us tonight.

His wife, Deb is unwell.

But Gary assured me at the weekend that both of them are in good spirits – mostly very good single malt whisky.

All of our thoughts are with Gary and Deb tonight. 

Ladies and gentlemen, there is something else missing tonight.

Something that has been part of this annual event for as long as anyone can remember.

Tonight there is no Dyno Nobel port on your tables.

Regular attendees of this event will recall that Dyno provides port in containers shaped like various pieces of mining related equipment.

You may also recall that last year we tested the tolerance of the parliamentary security authorities with a port bottle shaped as a detonator.  

It was the Senator Bill Heffernan memorial vintage.

Then a few weeks ago we received an advanced sample of this year's Dyno Nobel port.

The bottle is shaped as 8 sticks of dynamite wrapped in masking tape.

And a very realistic likeness it is too.

Our task was to persuade Parliamentary Security that bringing a couple of hundred containers shaped like 8 sticks of gelignite wasn’t really a major problem.

I knew we were struggling when the meeting with the parliamentary security team to discuss the issue was held in the car park.

That discussion was - as you might expect - cordial but brief.

So there is no port to take home tonight.

But thanks to the generosity of Dyno Nobel, all is not lost.

There are cards on each table for those who would like a bottle.

Dyno Nobel will send out a bottle to the first 150 who respond.

For those who collect their parcels at the post office, please don't open the box in the shop.

Or you may be the subject of a call to the Security Hotline.

As you all know, the minerals industry has long benefited from foreign investment.

It's been an integral part of the industry's growth.

And I am pleased that we have a number of multi-national representatives here tonight.

Glencore, Rio Tinto, Barnaby, Matt, Katy.

I am now delighted to introduce the address by our event sponsor.

Jean Sebastian Jacques has been the Chief executive of Rio Tinto since July 2016, after earlier leading the Copper and Coal groups.

Prior to joining Rio Tinto, Jean-Sébastien spent more than 15 years working in various roles across Europe, South East Asia, India and the US.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Jean Sebastian Jacques. 

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