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Thursday, 24 June 2010
Page: 6582


Mr ABBOTT (Leader of the Opposition) (2:07 PM) —Mr Speaker, you will not be surprised to know that my question is indeed to the Prime Minister. Given the Prime Minister’s claim to want genuine negotiations over the design of her great big new tax on mining, I ask: as a sign of good faith, will she remove from the budget the $12 billion in net revenue estimated to be generated by the tax in its current form?


Ms GILLARD (Prime Minister) —I thank the Leader of the Opposition for his first question to me. What I can say to the Leader of the Opposition is that this government, led by the Treasurer with the Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson—the responsible minister—will negotiate with the mining companies of this nation. I have said to the mining companies of this nation publicly that the government is opening its door and asking them to open their minds. I have also said that as a show of good faith—and this has been enacted—the government will remove its advertising from Australia’s television screens. In return I have asked that the mining companies do the same, and I am advised that BHP has already taken that step. The negotiations will proceed in an orderly fashion, step by step and piece by piece and led by the Treasurer, and at the appropriate time the government will make further announcements about the resource profits tax.