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Thursday, 30 September 2010
Page: 396

Senator CORMANN (9:55 AM) —I seek leave to make a brief statement.

The PRESIDENT —Leave is granted for two minutes.

Senator CORMANN —This issue was the subject of two lengthy Senate fuel and energy committee hearings with Dr Henry. During those meetings Dr Henry and senior Treasury officials were asked whether they were able to identify where the mining tax revenue would come from by state and territory on the basis that the Regional Infrastructure Fund, which had been committed in the context of this tax, would be allocated proportionally to where the money was raised from. We asked the obvious question: are you able to assess this? Treasury told us it would not be a difficult piece of analysis to do, and they took it on notice. When the answers on notice came back, the government essentially declined to provide that information. After Treasury took the question on notice and senior Treasury officials told us it would not be difficult to identify this information, the government made this decision, I would suggest, because they did not want the people in Western Australia and Queensland in particular to know how much of the mining tax revenue would come from those states. The government made a decision to decline to provide that information. We think it is in the public interest for that information to be provided so that, again, the impact of this particular tax on the economy, on jobs, on the budget and on individual states and territories can be properly assessed.