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Monday, 19 March 2012
Page: 3218


Mr RANDALL (Canning) (11:26): I am pleased to speak on the motion moved by the member for Hunter, although I have to correct much of what he said. The minerals resource rent tax is a tax based on the politics of envy of those opposite. This tax was born in a tawdry backroom deal by the three big miners—Xstrata, BHP and Rio—and the Prime Minister after she had done a hatchet job on then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. It was a tax which was bought by a $22 million campaign by the big miners, and that gave them a $60 billion break on their mining tax commitment. This is a tawdry deal that left out the mid-cap miners and left out the juniors, of which there are so many in my state of Western Australia. It is not just a bad new tax; it is a tax born out of illegitimate circumstances. We know that there was to be a resources superprofits tax, but it was headed off.

The member for Hunter talked about the MRRT being a mechanism to redistribute wealth. Have we ever heard as good an example of the left-wing agenda of those opposite as this proposal for a redistribution of wealth? The best thing you can do for the workers of this country is to give them a job, not try in some sort of Centrelink way to redistribute wealth across the nation. In an article in the West Australian on 23 February 2011 headed 'Ditch this dog's breakfast of a tax', Paul Murray says:

A drover's dog could show Julia Gillard that her cobbled together mining tax is a dud.

He goes on to point out the myth being promoted by federal Labor that these minerals are owned by all Australians. No, they are not—they are actually owned by the states. He goes on to say:

The simple truth is that the States have always owned the minerals that Ms Gillard—and Mr Rudd before her—disingenuously tell all Australians are theirs.

They are owned by the states. If you really wanted a proper mechanism which made the collection of revenues across all sectors fair, you would increase the corporate tax. That is the fairest way to go about it. The states outmanoeuvred Prime Minister Gillard on this. She and former Prime Minister Rudd did not understand how the states levied royalties. Then they had to do a reverse twist when they realised that they had to rebate any increases in state royalties. It is a sovereign risk tax.

If you want any further evidence of this, Mark Cutifani from AngloGold Ashanti has said that Australia's new mining tax is encouraging for mining investment in South Africa, Canada and Brazil, which are major competitors to Australia in the mining field. In Perth, most companies are hedging their bets and looking for alternative mine sites either in Africa or South America, or somewhere in our region, as fallbacks as a result of this increase in taxation. This government will tax anything that it can, and it believes any new tax is a good tax. My electorate has the second-highest number of fly-infly-out and drive-indrive-out workers in a metropolitan electorate in Western Australia. Those workers know how bad this tax is. They know this is a terrible tax that will hurt their jobs. This is a job-destroying tax that will gradually slowdown investment in Australian mining and exploration and eventually send it offshore.

Debate adjourned.