Australian billionaire Gina Rinehart has been accused of insulting her workforce and trying to incite moral panic in comments she made in a rare video appearance.
The comments were made in a 10-minute video posted on the Sydney Mining Club's website, the ABC reports.
The mining magnate repeated her view that Australia can't afford the carbon tax or the mineral resources rent tax, and that the country's high productivity and wages are working against it.
"The evidence is unarguable that Australia is indeed becoming too expensive and too uncompetitive to do export oriented business," she said.
In lamenting the costs associated with running a business in Australia, Mrs Rinehart pointed out that some African miners work for $2 a day.
Australian Council of Trade Unions says Mrs Rinehart's workforce has been insulted by her comparisons with Africa.
"It just beggars belief that she is trying to advocate a position where for us to be competitive we have to look at the conditions that we see in third-world countries," ACTU secretary Dave Oliver said.