Australia has a long and proud history as a nation of primary producers. Since our early pioneering days, our farmers have contended with rural and remote environments to produce essential food, fibre, and raw materials. We’ve always had agriculture, and for a long time this underpinned our economy. Our standards of living have changed markedly since we began to unlock some of our mineral wealth. Thanks to our primary industries and the many businesses they support, we live in one of the wealthiest countries that has ever existed, and Australians today have among the highest standards of living ever experienced by human beings. Australia’s agricultural exports are worth around $80 billion annually, and our resources exports add another $470 billion. Here in WA, mining accounts for more than half of all economic activity, and even more when you consider all the businesses up and down the supply chain that depend on mining. But what do these massive exports mean in tangible terms? Well, on average each Australian farmer feeds 150 of their fellow countrymen and 450 of their allies overseas. Our coal and gas exports keep the lights on everywhere from India to South Korea and Japan. In the words of former Japanese Ambassador to Australia, Shingo Yamagami: “It’s hard to imagine the neon lights of Tokyo ever going out, but with Australia now supplying 70 per cent of coal, 60 per cent of iron ore, and 40 per cent of Japan’s gas imports, this is exactly what would happen if Australia stopped producing energy resources”. Our iron ore exports, together with our metallurgical coal, feed the steel mills of Asia that have built the modern world, from hospitals and bridges to medical equipment and cars. It means that more than a million Australians are employed because of our resources sector alone. And it means that our governments have the tax revenue to fund our defence, healthcare, aged care, emergency services and so much more. More than a decade ago I asked the Federal government to establish National Mining and Related Industries Day (22 November) and after that, National Agriculture and Related Industries Day, (21st November) so that Australians had an official day each year to celebrate these essential industries and consider: “what would my life look like without mining and agriculture?” I was worried, and have become more worried, we sometimes forget how we came to be so fortunate. Modern resources and agricultural industries underpin human flourishing. Yet our governments seem to forget this. For all the platitudes we hear about supporting the agricultural and resources sectors, their actions show the opposite. It doesn’t matter if you tell people that the road to net zero runs through our mining industry; platitudes and press releases don’t lift a single tonne of any mineral out of the ground. There are a myriad of new rules and regulations constantly being added, with huge increases in the EPBC Act alone on the way, plus increasing net zero regulations. And to make matters even worse, for those projects that eventually make it through the puzzle of constantly expanding rules, taxpayer funded lawfare awaits to delay and disrupt them through the courts. Even in schools, governments have been content to not educate our children and grandchildren well. In the current high school national curriculum, which mandates what every school child in Australia is taught, iron ore is referenced only twice. Yet climate change and renewable energy are mentioned 48 times. Mining, coal, and iron ore do not receive even one mention in the entire high school economics and business curriculum. Please make use of our national days, even if you can’t be with us for those days. View the national days’ websites and remind your friends and our politicians of the threats to our vital nation-building industries. Gina Rinehart is executive chair of Hancock Prospecting.