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TAXATION—MINING TAX—ORDER FOR PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS

Senator Cormann, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 5—That the Senate—

 (a) notes that:

  (i) the Government conducted negotiations about its revised mining tax with BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata in secret before entering into an agreement about this new mining tax proposal with those three companies only,

  (ii) approximately 99 per cent of the mining industry was excluded from those secret mining tax negotiations, and

  (iii) in its haste to reach a new deal quickly, the Government gave those three companies an unfair competitive advantage, including by:

   (A) allowing them to directly influence the ultimate design of the new tax while excluding their competitors,

   (B) using data provided by those three companies on commodity prices, production volumes and other key assumptions, and

   (C) giving them preferential access to inside information about Government assumptions and thought processes around the new tax;

 (b) considers that:

  (i) information made available by the Government to those three companies should be made available to everyone,

  (ii) any data provided by those three companies for use in any Treasury modelling of the revised mining tax proposals should be publicly released, and


  (iii) all parts of any agreement between the Government and those three companies about the revised mining tax arrangements, including any schedules and other attachments, should be publicly available; and

 (c) orders that there be laid on the table by 5 pm on Thursday, 30 September 2010:

  (i) any information held by the Government related to the negotiations and agreement about the new mining tax proposal announced on 2 July 2010, including but not limited to, briefing notes, e-mails, data provided to the Government by BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata and any other information generated in the context of the negotiations about the new mining tax proposal, and

  (ii) a copy of the signed heads-of-agreement on the new mining tax proposal between the Government and BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata.

Statements by leave: The Leader of the Australian Greens (Senator Bob Brown) and Senator Cormann, by leave, made statements relating to the motion.

Question put and passed.