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Government tax reform package good for industries in regional Australia



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980817 8 September 1998

MEDIA RELEASE GOVERNMENT TAX REFORM PACKAGE GOOD FOR INDUSTRIES IN REGIONAL AUSTRALIA , (Lc H j L C ^ q t C - v * * J ~ *■

The Minerals Council of Australia, today welcomed the Government’s clarification of a number of aspects of the its tax reform package as they relate to the minerals industry, according to the Council’s Executive Birector, Mr Dick Wells.

“We welcome the Government’s announcement that if the proposed GST is introduced, the mineral resources sector would no longer be required to pay the hidden wholesales sales tax (WST), FBT on remote area housing and a number of other indirect taxes on business inputs from July 2000”, Mr Wells said.

“The fuel excise proposals in the reform package are very important not only to the minerals sector but also to the oil and gas, agricultural, fishing, forestry, manufacturing and transport sectors. This is good news for job prospects in regional Australia.

“From the minerals sector’s perspective, the Government proposals hold out the prospect of finally dealing with the long running saga of fuel excise taxation in Australia”, Mr Wells said.

“It makes no sense to penalise performance and inflate the cost basis of Australia’s strongest export performer through inefficient input taxes such as fuel excise. Australia’s major international competitors do not suffer such burdens.

“To say the minerals sector is a ‘winner’ from the Government’s proposed tax reform package is open to misinterpretation. What needs to the recognised is that the industry is a ‘loser’ under existing arrangements and the changes move to correct some of the causes for this”, Mr Wells said.

Much of the proposed tax reform corrects inefficient taxes currently applied to inputs to production and export activities. -

“Australia cannot afford to undercut its capacity to compete in world markets. In short, without significant reform Australia’s capacity to compete with other countries for development and jobs growth will continue to be eroded.

“The outcome of the Government’s proposed Business Income Tax Review will have significant implications for the minerals industry and whether the potential benefits of the tax package are not eroded.

“Provided the business tax changes complement the reforms already announced, there is little doubt that Australia will be better off as the minerals industry competes with other countries for development and jobs growth. The challenge for the Opposition is to provide a competitive fiscal regime that realises the industry’s potential and the resulting jobs growth”,

Mr Wells concluded.

(ends)

MINERALS COUNC IL OF AUSTRALIA

For further information contact: Stephen Woodhill 02 6279 3630 (work) 0412 173 277 (mobile) 02 6231 7487 (home ph/fx)

smawoodhill @ minerals.org.au (email)

Minerals Council of Australia PO Box 363 DICKSON ACT 2602 Email - info@minerals.org.au Internet - www.minerals.org.au ACN 008 455 141