Australia's resources sector took another hit recently with Prime Minister Julia Gillard announcing her intention of introducing a carbon tax in 2012. This came hot on the heels of the 2010 Mining Tax that created a chain reaction throughout the industry resulting in the closest federal election outcome in Australian history.

The Resources and Energy Symposium in Broken Hill from May 23-25 will provide a platform for industry leaders, representing oil and gas, mining and minerals, and alternative energy to voice their concerns and debate alternate 'environmental' methodology.

As the largest contributor to Australia's coffers, the resources sector is seen as the barometer of our economy. Professor Ian Plimer, of Adelaide University strongly believes that without resources we would “all still be in caves”. Moreover he believes that Australia will face many challenges moving forward especially competing on a global stage where technological advances has changed the way third world and developing countries develop their resources.

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The chief economist of the Commonwealth Bank, Michael Blythe, will address issues that impact on the economy, particularly those that reverberate through the resources sector. A renowned speaker, he will analyse the sector predictions and provide informed insights into how to keep Australia not only the 'lucky' country but also a prosperous one.

Another 'hot' topic during the Symposium will be the effect of natural disasters on the resources sector with Australia not being immune. Leading international economist Dr Richard Hames believes Australia is vulnerable and exposed.

He says, “The Australian resources sector has been a vital part of Australia's growth and a significant contributor to the wealth of our region. But future relevance and viability should not be taken for granted. Prosperity and influence can only be maintained if the industry's leaders are able to face up to the more startling challenges that are already disrupting traditional notions of business-as-usual.

“As the world faces environmental challenges resources companies must accept the fact that a new industrial revolution is taking place.”

Presenting a keynote address at the Symposium, Dr Hames will invite delegates to take the long view and explore the myths that hinder conventional development; confront current thinking and practices that impede and slow progress.

The Symposium theme 'Future-proofing Australia - the resources perspective' focuses on the resources sector as a whole bringing together oil and gas, mining and minerals, and alternate and renewable energy companies. Keynote speakers will address the issues, challenges and sustainability of the sector that together is the largest contributor to Australia's economy.

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