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Hockey links dollar's fall to mining tax -

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Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey has linked the falling value of the Australian dollar with the proposed
tax on mining profits.


LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: The Prime Minister has slammed the shadow treasurer for suggesting that the
falling value of the Australian dollar is linked to the proposed new tax on mining profits. Joe
Hockey told a mining conference in Perth that the perception of Australia being a poor investment
location is impacting on the dollar's value. But many analysts and Kevin Rudd put the currency's
erratic performance down to Europe's economic troubles.

It's just the latest argument in what's set to be a long-running political stand-off over the
introduction of the new tax. Dana Robertson reports.

DANA ROBERTSON, REPORTER: Tony Abbott's literally gone to the coal-face in his fight against the
resources super-profits tax.

TONY ABBOTT, OPPOSITION LEADER: We will fight this to the last breath. We will oppose it in
Opposition, we will rescind it in government, because it is a dagger aimed at the heart of
Australia's prosperity.

DANA ROBERTSON: The Opposition Leader claims the Government's doing wilful damage to the nation's
most important industry.

But others in the Coalition think the impact goes much further. The shadow treasurer blames the
proposed new tax for the downward spiral of the Australian dollar.

JOE HOCKEY, SHADOW TREASURER: In many ways, the Australian dollar is seen as a benchmark currency
for resources and commodity prices.

DANA ROBERTSON: The dollar's dropped as much as 13 per cent in the past month. Today it lost three
cents in just three hours. But currency analysts aren't convinced it's a tax-driven dive. Some
suspect traders are running for cover from Europe's woes.

GREG GIBBS, ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND: You've got to look at the Australian dollar as being the
highest leverage play on the global economy, basically. You know, when things are looking good, the
Australian dollar's doing great. When things are looking bad, the Australian dollar is doing
terrible. And when there's a hint of a turn, which there is at the moment, we're seeing all that
money that was in the Australian dollar pile out of it again.

KEVIN RUDD, PRIME MINISTER: I've seen a few reckless remarks by the Liberal Party on this question.
Everybody around the world knows that there is a genuine crisis of confidence in Europe.

DANA ROBERTSON: The Prime Minister argues the anti-tax campaign is just companies trying to dodge
their responsibilities.

KEVIN RUDD: Guess what? All those mining companies don't want to pay any more tax.

DANA ROBERTSON: But the big iron ore miners aren't the only ones who are worried. Woodside's Don
Voelte says the massive Pluto LNG project would never have got off the ground with a super-profits

DON VOELTE, WOODSIDE: We will tell you right now that management wouldn't have been able to take
that project to the board of directors. It wouldn't fly under the new taxes. We would ... Pluto
would still be in the ground.

DANA ROBERTSON: The Government's talking up its consultation process as a way to end the stand-off.

Today BHP had the ear of Treasury officials. It urged them to tell the Government "... that time be
taken to properly engage with the industry on all aspects of the tax rather than pursue selective
adjustments ..."

But the Government doesn't sound in the mood for major change.

KEVIN RUDD: We believe we've got this policy basically right.

TONY ABBOTT: This is an assault on our standard of living and we won't stand for it.

DANA ROBERTSON: It's an argument likely to run all the way till election day.