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Tonight, as Bangkok burned the Thai Government pointed the finger of blame at exiled former prime
minister Thaksin Shinawatra. And charged him with terrorism. Shortly we'll hear his side of the
story for the first time in an exclusive interview.

This Program is Captioned Live.

Good evening, welcome to Lateline, I'm tone ji Jones. Also tonight - one of the world's biggest
miners has hit out again at the Federal Government at its proposed super profits tax on the
industry which the head of Rio Tinto says was sprung on them without notice.

We would have liked to have been involved before it had been announced. We certainly would have
liked to have been involved before it had been put in the Budget. We would have made our views

Rio Tinto's COE Tom ja ba these has joined a chorus of complaints from the big miners that they
weren't consulted at all. But did the Federal Government consult other key players in the union

No, they were not negotiated with prior to the tax.

So there were no sort of back room discussions? No back channel discussions with the union movement
to make sure they were on side as opposed to the mining companies?

Thaksin Shinawatra speaks to Lateline

Thaksin Shinawatra speaks to Lateline

Broadcast: 26/05/2010

Reporter: Tony Jones

Exiled former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra gives Lateline his first interview since the
protests in Bangkok.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: The world's first interview with former Thai prime minister, Thaksin
Shinawatra, since the violent protests in Bangkok.

Mr Thaksin was ousted by a military coup in 2006 and is currently living in exile and in hiding
from Thai authorities who have issued a warrant for his arrest on charges of terrorism in
connection with the anti-government protests by his Red Shirt supporters over the last two months.

The Thai foreign ministry has reportedly asked Interpol to arrest him and deport him back to

Well tonight Mr Thaksin agreed to speak to Lateline and joined us, just a short time ago, by phone.

Thaksin Shinawatra thanks for joining us.

THAKSIN SHINAWATRA, FORMER THAI PRIME MINISTER: Thank you, thank you for inviting me.

TONY JONES: Are you prepared to go back to Thailand and face up to the terrorism charges that have
been levelled against you?

THAKSIN SHINAWATRA: Well, first of all let me express my sympathy of the arrests of the Australian
that went on the stage after the Red Shirts and been arrested.

Through the loyalty, our un-loyal, emergency decree, which is, I very sympathise him. But anyway,
the, whether going back or no is not the matter of an urgency.

The urgency is that how can we see Thailand having a reconciliation, real reconciliation. If I, if
anything, if the confrontation still going on, is not good for the country. We want to see
reconciliation because the Government always said about reconciliation but the way they use the
iron fist approach, they are not using velvet glove approach that is mean that they are more
confrontation than reconciliation.

TONY JONES: But Mr Thaksin these are very serious charges, terrorism charges, they carry the death
penalty. Are you worried that Interpol


TONY JONES: will track you down and arrest you...


TONY JONES: and deport you to back to Bangkok to face a court?

THAKSIN SHINAWATRA: I can assure this is very, purely politically motivated case, allegation. It is
not really a, it has no grounds. In my mind I always advocate to the peaceful protest and I always
supporting my people that we, Thailand, needs reconciliation. I always saying that and I always be,
have been passion on reconciliation.

I never, never supporting any violence and everybody that know me, and all the countries here they
know well that is no one, nowhere that the former prime minister will become terrorist to hurt
their own country. No way.

TONY JONES: The allegations against you are, very specifically, that you orchestrated the recent
unrest, that you secretly funded and possibly, directed, the operations or that subordinates acting
on your behalf did all of those things.

THAKSIN SHINAWATRA: Well if the process is gone to rule of law this allegation cannot be found
because of the, there is no evidence at all, it's just the allegations, well from one sided and
now, today, the court accept my lawyers petition to cancel the arrest for review.

TONY JONES: Are you concerned that Interpol, having being asked by the Thai Foreign Ministry to
arrest you, will really do that.

THAKSIN SHINAWATRA: Definitely they will do. But Interpol have their own criteria to judge, that
is, is to not be politically motivated. This is clearly politically motivated and there is no
ground. You know some of the time that Thai Government has asked Interpol to issue the Interpol
arrest warrant to me and Interpol always found out that the information that the Thai Government
give is unreliable and is politically motivated.

TONY JONES: At least one army general who supported you among the Red Shirts was shot dead during
the unrest. Do you still have close supporters and followers in the military?

THAKSIN SHINAWATRA: You know because the military are very disciplined, you know, they, what they
are, they just follow what the boss says but, anyway, many are not agree with the way the army has
been used to kill their own people.

What you have to concern is the life of the innocent people 88 of people dying and 108, 1,080,
1,800 of injured so that is, you have to have investigation on that. And the investigation must be
fair, fair. And now 300 innocent protestor has been detained under the emergency decree. So, so..

TONY JONES: Do you reject, do you reject the violence that was done in your name, as well...

THAKSIN SHINAWATRA: No way, we are...

TONY JONES: the violence done by the military

THAKSIN SHINAWATRA: We never, we never, engage in violence. If you look at the way, if you look at
the way the military suppression, they use tanks, they use snipers, they hit the general by
snipers, they hit the many people by snipers. Even at the temples on the last day before they go
back home, there be massacre in the temple. That is what the international should concern.

TONY JONES: Amongst the peaceful Red Shirt demonstrators there was a hard-core of armed militants.
The same men who evidently set fire to dozens of buildings in Bangkok...


TONY JONES: and the other places after the army moved in to break up the demonstration. Who were
these men? Who do you say they were?

THAKSIN SHINAWATRA: If you look at it, you know, why, the Red Shirts burn the central, why not
other sites, the central, if you look at many analysis in Thailand you will understand better that
the Red Shirts, they are not sophisticated enough to burn the whole building down.

They may angry to create fires, here and there a small fires, but not the big fires. The big fire
is, must be the work of professional. Is not be a Red Shirt definitely and it must be well planned
ahead. I can assure you, as an ex-priest I can assure you that this is a well planned and
professionally done is not really, I can say is that it's a set up, it's a set up.

Even the weapons that they come on display, brand new weapons they not allow anyone to touch it.
Actually the weapons never been used. How can the Red Shirts having that weapons and no one hurt on
the military side {laughs}.

TONY JONES: Well, so you understand that the allegation will be that they were able to buy weapons
because you supplied them with large sums of money in order to fund this Red Shirt rebellion. That
will be the allegation against you.

THAKSIN SHINAWATRA: No way, how, how can, where can you buy the weapons? They are not military. How
can you buy? And then, ah, if they have weapons why they have surrendered so easy? Why they don't,
they don't shoot with the military? Why there is not military casualty on the military side? So I
think you have to be very reasonable to understand the situation.

TONY JONES: Is the red shirt rebellion over now, is it finished, or do you believe it will flare up

THAKSIN SHINAWATRA: I don't know, I don't know. You, they, they, they'd been buried now, they been
hunting everywhere in Thailand. So they are in difficulty, they have been hunting. This is the way
the Government call reconciliation. OK. Thank you very much, thank you.

TONY JONES: Thaksin Shinawatra we will have to leave you there we, it sounds like you've gone

Thank you very much for joining us.

Fraser's disapproval boils over

Fraser's disapproval boils over

Broadcast: 26/05/2010

Reporter: Emma Griffiths

Malcom Fraser has quit the party he lead to three election victories, following recent criticism of
current Liberal policies.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: For years he's given the Liberal Party plenty of grief. To some he was the
Liberal's conscience on issues like asylum seekers, to others he was just a troubling nuisance.

But now the former prime minister Malcolm Fraser has quit the party that he led to three election

From Canberra political reporter Emma Griffiths has the story.

EMMA GRIFFITHS, REPORTER: 35 years ago he led the Liberals to power in troubled times.

But in recent times it's his party that has troubled him.

MALCOLM FRASER, FORMER PRIME MINISTER: There's almost an authoritarian streak the way issues are
used for political purposes.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: That criticism has culminated in Malcolm Fraser casting away his lifelong
membership. He quit the party in December just as Tony Abbott beat another Malcolm to the

A new leader has refused to bite back.

TONY ABBOTT, OPPOSITION LEADER: He obviously has a right to make his judgements about where he
stands these days.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: Others won't miss him.

ANDREW ROBB, OPPOSITION FINANCE SPOKESMAN: It's his call I don't know what's going through his

IAN MACFARLANE, OPPOSITION RESOURCES SPOKESMAN: Well my mother once wore an 'It's Time' T-shirt and
I can assure you she is not a Labor voter these days.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: But for the party's largely sidelined moderates his departure is personally
regretful and publically damaging.

JUDITH TROETH, LIBERAL SENATOR: It is a blow to those people who, perhaps, share the same views as
Mr Fraser but feel that they can no longer be accommodated in the party.

JOHN VALDER, FORMER LIBERAL PARTY PRESIDENT: The sad thing is that, when the more moderate people
do vacate the party it is left more and more to the right wing people.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: The former prime minister hasn't spelt out his reasons and most current Liberal MPs
aren't keen to speculate on them.

Not so the Labor Party.

JULIA GILLARD, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: I think Mr Fraser, in resigning, is saying to the Australian
people that he's got a view about how extreme the Liberal Party is under Tony Abbott.

TONY ABBOTT: Malcolm Fraser, who saved this country from the second worst government in Australia's
history and I am very, very pleased and proud to be able to save this country from the worst
Government in Australia's history.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: To bolster that claim Tony Abbott cites what, he calls, the Government's 'big, new,
resources tax' and the evidence it's used that miners pay as little as 13 per cent tax.

TONY ABBOTT: Wrong, dead wrong because it relied on a draft paper by a University of North Carolina
graduate student, you fraud!

EMMA GRIFFITHS: The American authors say a tiny element of a very large study has been taken out of
context. The Government sought to trump that study with the backing of 20 Australian economists who
believe 'there is no reason to expect a net contraction in mining as a result of the proposed
resource rent tax.'

ALLAN FELS, FORMER ACCC CHAIRMAN: The current system of taxing royalties actually doesn't make a
lot of economic sense and deters production.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: But according to BRW's (Business Review Weekly) latest rich list the new tax
doesn't make economic sense for the hip pockets of mining magnates.

SEAN AYLMER, BRW: So Andrew Forrest, for example, he's now at number four, worth $4.2 billion, six
weeks ago he probably would have been closer to $5 billion.

EMMA GRIFFITHS: Overall, though, BRW says the mining chiefs are about $8 billion up on this time
last year.

Emma Griffiths, Lateline.

Albanese discusses 'unfair imposition' super profits tax

Albanese discusses 'unfair imposition' super profits tax

Broadcast: 26/05/2010

Reporter: Tony Jones

Rio Tinto CEO Tom Albanese joins Lateline from Melbourne to give his perspective on the proposed
super profits tax


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: Well, today Rio Tinto joined the attack on the resources super profits tax
at its AGM in Melbourne, the chairman saying he's personally offended by the way it's been handled.

It's the first AGM of the big miners since the tax was put on the agenda earlier this month. While
some shareholders expressed support for Kevin Rudd's view that the profits from the resources boom
should be shared, most see it as an unfair imposition on the resources sector.

Rio Tinto's CEO, Tom Albanese, joined us earlier from Melbourne.

Tom Albanese thanks for joining us.

TOM ALBANESE: Good to see you today.

TONY JONES: You claim the super profits tax is the number one sovereign risk that Rio Tinto faces
anywhere in the world. What is that sovereign risk exactly?

TOM ALBANESE: Well, just over the past 10 years we've reinvested every dollar we've made, we've
reinvested $38 billion into what has been a stable tax regime and now the rules on those tens of
billions of dollars of investments are suddenly changing and not just tweaking, but a whole new tax
regime. Essentially 40 per cent of largely written down profits are going to a silent partner.

It's as if they're coming to us saying we want to be your 40 per cent partner, ignore the fact
you've taken all the risks, ignore the fact you've taken all the lumps we want 40 per cent of your
pre-tax profits.

That's sovereign risk and that's why I've said it's the number one priority on my plate, globally,
around sovereign risks.

TONY JONES: Now, the Treasurer Wayne Swann says the Government is proposing generous transition
periods for existing projects. You seem to be mostly worried about existing projects and that they
are part of the consultation process. So aren't you getting a bit ahead of yourself here since that
consultation process is still ongoing?

TOM ALBANESE: Well we did meet last week and we do stand ready to engage and we do stand ready to
be involved with this.

We would have liked to have been involved before it had been announced. We certainly would have
liked to have been involved before it had been put in the budget. We would have made our views
known and we would have been able to take some of the economic thinking and then mesh it with the
real world.

From our perspective we have to look at the whole thing and what we saw in the engagement and the
consultations of last week were that we were pretty much bracketed so that the bulk of the issues
were not allowed to be on the table during those discussions.

I do believe for us to have a true consultation to address the sovereign risk and to continue to
allow Australia to be the premiere number one destination for mining investment that we should be
looking at all aspects of what has been proposed and we should be looking at it holistically with
everything on the table.

TONY JONES: So you're saying you're not happy with the actual process of consultations being put
forward, are you? Because one could argue that why don't you sit down quietly with the Government
without all the public grandstanding and deal with this face to face before this becomes a massive
public debate?

TOM ALBANESE: Well, again, we were ready to sit down and then we found it was announced, we found
it was in the budget. We do want to make our views known and it's quite important that we do make
our views known, because just imagine if we were to stand quiet and this thing would just sort of
happen. Day one, pretty much, you would see life would go on - the trucks would keep running,
everything else. Year one capital's getting harder, year two capital's getting even harder than

Ten years down the road people would start saying: "What happened to our industry?" This was the
best mining industry in the world bar none. This kept us out of the great recession in 2009. Where
did it go? And at that time it's too late. We want to make our view now and we should be quite
visible about that view.

TONY JONES: But you have told shareholders you're planning for 15 years of growth in demand from
China for all these minerals. That will be followed by an upsurge, by your own predictions, of
growth in India.

So if the demand is not going to go away, as you seem to be telling your shareholders, why would
you expect it to go away just because your profit margin is somewhat lower?

TOM ALBANESE: We can invest on a global basis. We've got mines in Canada, we've got mines in the
US, we've got mines in Africa, in South America, we will have mines in Asia. And we will be
investing and we'll be allocating those investments based upon the combination of the merits of the
investment, of the quality of the ore body, the capabilities that we can deliver there, but also
the stability of the tax regime. And if you make a tax regime less stable or more risky anywhere it
tends to attract capital away from that and toward the more stable regimes.

TONY JONES: Are you worried that other countries might look at what the Australian Government is
doing and decide that this is a good template for extracting more money from miners for their
countries as well, is that part of the problem here?

TOM ALBANESE: Well, I mean, there has been some speculation of some countries but I can't say any
country has come up and said "we like this", but I will say there have been a number of countries
that have said we've tried this experiment ourselves, it didn't work. We would prefer to remain
competitive and those countries see this as an opportunity to get more of our investment monies and
probably more of other investment monies.

TONY JONES: But the theory of this tax is to give the Australian people, who after all own the
minerals, a higher share of the profits when the profits go up. Is that a reasonable template for a
tax because a lot of the economists are now suggesting that it is?

TOM ALBANESE: Well, as I understand it, the minerals are owned by the states and that's why the
states have put in royalty regimes and again, I recognise royalty regimes are different on a state
by state basis and again we would be open to some type of tax reform that basically addressed the
fact they were different on a case by case basis.

We're not against paying taxes, we're not against taxes per se. What we are looking for is
something that addresses and respects sovereign risk and something that is in the best interests of
Australia - to continue to allow us to reinvest everything we make back in the country.

TONY JONES: But are you prepared, because it's going to be a key element of the consultations, are
you prepared to pay any more tax on the higher profits that you make?

TOM ALBANESE: Our tax load, over the past say 10 years, or even over the past three years, on
average has been about 35 per cent - corporate taxes plus state royalties together.

I just want to say, first of all, that this 13 per cent number I've heard out of Canberra over the
past couple of days is just nonsense. I can't see where that's coming from. It's certainly not
coming from us, it's not coming from any other company I've heard about and again we've said
roughly 35 per cent.

We do recognise that it's important to talk about facts and figures and I would anticipate over the
next couple of days we will provide some externally audited verified numbers as to what our tax
rate is because we do want to show the world that we do pay fair taxes.

TONY JONES: So what do you calculate, Rio Tinto that is, your actual tax rate would be when you
added it all together, the overall percentage amount that you'd pay to the Federal Government if
the super profits tax were imposed upon you?

TOM ALBANESE: It would be most definitely the highest tax rate in the world for any mining
commodity or any mining country bar none.

TONY JONES: What would it be though, do you know? Would it be in the 50 per cent range, higher than
50 per cent?

TOM ALBANESE: I would venture to say again, case by case and these things are quite complex. By the
way, complexity is never good for competitive tax regimes, but it's well over 50 per cent.

TONY JONES: So are you confident that you can actually come to an agreement with the Government
that does involve you paying some extra tax on your profits?

TOM ALBANESE: Look, I am, naturally I'm optimist by nature, we in the mining industry have to be.
So I am hopeful that we can come up with a holistic solution that works again for everyone. We
would have liked to have been involved before the damage was done with the announcements over the
last few weeks.

But again the damage has been done. What can we do to rectify some of that damage going forward? I
would like to be involved in that process, we'd like to be involved with that process, we'd like to
be engaging, but unfortunately this could take an extended period of time and the longer it takes
the more risk there will be out there and the more delays there'll be probably for new projects.

TONY JONES: Are you conscious at all of the dangers of playing politics with an issue like this in
the election year?

TOM ALBANESE: I am just focused on the issue, this is a bad policy and we're entirely just focused
around the issue and that is that the super tax will disincentivise investment and it will create
sovereign risk for Australia and in my opinion that's bad for Australia.

TONY JONES: Has Rio Tinto decided on projects which may not continue and what level of projects are
you talking about if this tax goes ahead?

TOM ALBANESE: Basically what I've said to each and every manager within Rio Tinto in Australia is
that any new project, any investment proposal in Australia, needs to be tested against a worst case
tax scenario.

They need to go back to the drawing board, they need to do their engineering over again. It's not
just a matter of changing a few financial models, they need to basically test what kind of capital
they can make work in this and that's essentially slowing down projects that otherwise I may be
sitting with on my desk as we speak.

TONY JONES: Tom Albanese, we thank you very much for taking the time to come and talk to us today
on Lateline and hopefully we'll be able to talk to you again as the negotiations continue.

TOM ALBANESE: Good to talk to you. Thank you.

Wayne Swan defends new tax

Wayne Swan defends new tax

Broadcast: 26/05/2010

Reporter: Tony Jones

Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan presents the Government's case for the super profits tax.


TONY JONES, PRESENTER: And to present the Government's case for the 'super profits tax' we were
joined just a short time ago from our Parliament House studio by the Treasurer, Wayne Swan.

Wayne Swan thanks for joining us.

WAYNE SWAN, TREASURER: It's good to be with you Tony.

TONY JONES: Ok, in pure political terms wasn't it dumb not to consult with the mining companies
before you announced a new tax on their profits?

WAYNE SWAN: Well can I just say it's not true that the mining companies were not consulted. The
independent tax inquiry consulted the mining companies; they consulted mining companies more than
they consulted virtually anyone else in the process of preparing their report. In fact you can see
members of the committee saying that on the front page of the Financial Review today but it is

TONY JONES: Rio Tinto was part of those negotiations, consultations,...

WAYNE SWAN: Well they weren't negotiations...

TONY JONES: ... earlier because they say they weren't consulted at all.

WAYNE SWAN: Well they were consulted, through the Henry Committee, they were consulted extensively
through that process but they made their recommendation to the Government and Tony, what I said on
the day that we launched our response and put forward the modernisation of resource taxation was
that the Government remained willing and wanted to consult with the industry.

TONY JONES: So why is it the CEO of Rio Tinto, Tom Albanese, has told us tonight they were
extremely upset that the tax was announced, factored into the Budget before they knew anything
about it?

WAYNE SWAN: Well, I don't expect the CEO of Rio to be anything other than upset because his company
would certainly pay more tax under this proposal. And the Government did anticipate the huge fear
campaign that is now being waged against us by sections of the industry and it is true that some
companies who have 'super profits' will pay more tax, other companies won't necessarily pay more
tax and other companies will certainly not be adversely affected in terms of paying more tax.

So there are a variety of impacts out there but, I didn't expect companies like Rio to be dancing
in the streets at the prospect of paying the Australian people a fair share of their mineral
resources which they own 100 per cent.

TONY JONES: But they're saying they weren't consulted, that's the point. They're saying they
weren't consulted prior to this. Had you consulted them they would have given you a range of
information, are they lying about that because you're now telling us they were consulted?

WAYNE SWAN: No, I think what they wanted to do was to design the taxation arrangements and the
outcome and tax policy, Tony, is never made like that.

They were consulted by the independent panel, They went through discussions with that panel. It was
the mining industry itself, through the Mining Council, that made a recommendation to the panel for
a profits-based tax to replace royalties which they see as a very bad tax which punishes

So the Mining Council itself has in fact recommended a profits-based tax. Now some companies don't
like the design of this tax. We said when we launched our reforms that we would engage in genuine
consultation with those companies and that is precisely what we're doing.

TONY JONES: Well, not according to Tom Albanese, the head of the biggest mining company in the
world, because he says the belated consultations you're having now are not genuine because the
issues they want to talk about have been 'bracketed', so he says, out of the negotiation.

In other words, the things they want to put on the table to negotiate and consult about they're not
allowed to. That's his essential argument?

WAYNE SWAN: I don't accept that characterisation at all. The Government is consulting with
companies about their response to this tax. They are talking to the panel, they are making
presentations to the panel and that is appropriate and much of that is confidential because it
involves information which is commercial in confidence.

In addition to that, ministers are open to discussions with the industry about their views. This is
a Government, Tony, that has been opened to industry from day one. We worked very closely...

TONY JONES: Why is industry saying that's not the case and why is the head of the biggest mining
company in the world saying the negotiations are not genuine because large elements that they want
to talk about have been 'bracketed out' of the discussion?

WAYNE SWAN: Well perhaps he is really opposed, in truth, to a profits-based tax but the fact is
that the Government is going to pursue the national interest here because what are we dealing with

The figures show that at the beginning of the decade one dollar in three in mining profits was paid
in royalties. At the end of the decade that had fallen to one dollar in seven.

We are now at least getting the industry, and even Mitch Hook has admitted this, we are now getting
most in the industry to admit that they should be paying a bit more.

We are now having a vigorous debate about the design of the resource super profits tax that we have
put forward but at least the industry has now come to the point where it admits that it has been
getting a very good deal and it's time for the Australian people to get a fairer share of the
resources that they own 100 per cent.

TONY JONES: Wayne Swan, whatever you say, the big miners say they weren't consulted prior to the
tax. Did you consult with the union movement prior to the, prior to releasing the details of this

WAYNE SWAN: Well I think the union movement made presentations to the consultation committee. I'd
have to go and check that, but I think they have, but what we have done is operate a process of
government that has been entirely appropriate. I personally have not had any...

TONY JONES: But my point is: were key union leaders taken aside and told the details of the tax?
How it was going to work, to make sure you had them on side as they appeared to be from day one?

WAYNE SWAN: The treatment of union leaders has been exactly the same as the treatment of leaders of
the biggest companies in the land.

TONY JONES: Have they been negotiated with prior to the tax?

WAYNE SWAN: Well they made submissions to the Henry Committee but no, they were not negotiated with
prior to the tax.

TONY JONES: So there were no sort of back room discussions, no back channel discussions with the
union movement to make sure they were on side as opposed to the mining companies?

WAYNE SWAN: Tony they have been consulted in the same way that other sections of the society were
consulted and that is the way that I've described to you this evening.

TONY JONES: So but they, have they had consultations with ministers prior to the tax being

WAYNE SWAN: Well, like companies they would have been going through the doors of ministers in the
lead up to the launch of the proposals, I'm sure.

But the proposals were the property of the cabinet and they were launched at the appropriate time
and they were put in the public arena at that stage.

TONY JONES: I mean the real question is: did the unions know about the details of this tax and the
companies did not?

WAYNE SWAN: No, Tony, I've answered that emphatically. They were in no different position from the

TONY JONES: Now Tom Albanese says the "super profit tax is now the number one sovereign risk Rio
Tinto faces anywhere in the world" that's going to have a serious impact on investment in

WAYNE SWAN: Well I think those statements are somewhat extreme. I think they're regrettable,
particularly if you look at what else Mr Albanese...

TONY JONES: But are they true?

WAYNE SWAN: Well, they're certainly not, they're certainly not true. I think they're regrettable
but they're certainly not true in the context of what else was said at the Rio board meeting today.
They see a very strong outlook for the mining sector in Australia as we go forward.

TONY JONES: OK, you've talked about "generous transitional periods for existing projects" because
the sovereign risk issue comes in with existing projects, what they call the retrospectivity of
this tax.

WAYNE SWAN: There is no retrospectivity in this at all, Tony.

TONY JONES: No, but they argue that if it's on existing projects it is in effect retrospective
because they've already made their investment decisions on the basis of a different tax regime.

But can I just ask you, you've talked about these "generous transitional periods", is there room
for negotiation with the miners on the level of tax they have to pay?

WS: Well we said that we would have generous transitional provisions, we made that very clear on
day one. The miners rarely refer to that. That is part and parcel of the discussions that they're
having as they go through the consultation panel.

But can I go back to this point of retrospectivity because that is a nonsense. What that would mean
is this Government could never change any of its arrangements for the mining industry at any stage
and that the mining industry could simply have a complete bonanza at the expense of the Australian
people who own these resources.

TONY JONES: Final question then, how much room to move do you actually have? Can you change the
percentage where the tax kicks in? Can you change the percentage of tax you actually take in this
super profit arrangement?

WAYNE SWAN: Tony I've made it very clear that the framework we put down on the day we announced
this very important reform is the framework within which we are negotiating. We are genuine in
receiving feedback and input from the industry. Much of industry is going through our consultation
panel and many of them are holding discussions with senior ministers about their views. The
Government will weigh it all up...

TONY JONES: That's a framework, can you change the details? Can you change the details at which the
tax kicks?

WAYNE SWAN: The framework is for a 40 per cent resource super profits tax. There is a lot of detail
that flows from that. We are receiving feedback from the industry on all of that detail and working
our way through. The bottom line for the Government is a fair return to the Australian people for
the resources they own 100 per cent.

TONY JONES: Can you change where it kicks in?

WAYNE SWAN: I'm not ruling any of these things in or out in this discussion because we are going
through a genuine process of consultation.

TONY JONES: So you could change where it kicks in if you can't...

WAYNE SWAN: No, I'm not saying we are or we are not...

TJ: You're not ruling it out, you're not ruling it out in the discussions?

WAYNE SWAN: Tony what I've just said is that we have the framework, we put it out on day one, we
have been consulting about that framework, some people have not participated in that consultation,
I urge them to do that. It's very important for Australia that we get this right. We're serious
with what we're doing.

TONY JONES: Wayne Swan, we're out of time, we'll have to leave you there. We thank you very much
for coming in and talking to us tonight.

WAYNE SWAN: Good to talk to you.

It's time now for a quick look at the weather. That's all from us. 'Lateline Business' coming up in
just a moment but if you would like to look back at tonight's interviews with Thaksin Shinawatra,
Tom Albanese and Wayne Swan or review any stories you can look at our website or follow us on