The Australian prime minister has shrugged off Gina Rinehart's latest attack on the mining and carbon taxes, wondering "where's the news in that?"
Yesterday, Rinehart posted a 10-minute video on the Sydney Mining Club's website in which she said that Australia "simply can't afford" the two taxes.
The mining magnate said the evidence was "unarguable" that Australia was becoming too expensive to do export-oriented business.
"We are becoming a high-cost and high-risk nation for investment," Mrs Rinehart said.
Today, Julia Gillard told ABC Radio that she had a "different view" from the richest woman in the world. She said the mining industry would keep growing and that there were billions of dollars of investment in the pipeline.
The Prime Minister added that Rinehart had always been opposed to the mining tax and carbon pricing.
"She's still opposed," Gillard said."Where's the news in that?"
Rinehart also warned that Africa is a cheaper investment option, with workers willing to take jobs for less than A$2 ($2.60) per day.
But Gillard said Australia would not be competing on wage rates with Africa.
"We are not going to have wage rates the same as the wage rates in Africa," she said. "We mine differently than in other countries."
Gillard also told reporters in Perth that her government supported "proper Australian wages and decent working conditions for Australian people".
"It's not the Australian way to toss people A$2 ... and then ask them to work for a day," Gillard said.
Yesterday, a spokesman for Treasurer Wayne Swan wanted to know if the Opposition Leader would back the calls for Australia to use illegal labour in order to become more competitive.
"The only Australian not getting sick and tired of this almost-daily pearl-rattling from Gina Rinehart is her loyal servant, Tony Abbott," the spokesman said.
"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."
Rinehart, Australia's richest person, is the major shareholder of Fairfax Media, publisher of stuff.co.nz, as well as a big shareholder and director of Ten Network. Her wealth has been estimated at A$30 billion (NZ$38.6b).
- With AAP
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