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Thursday, 24 June 2010
Page: 6584


Mr ABBOTT (2:15 PM) —Mr Speaker, again my question is to the Prime Minister. I ask her: is she committed to raising $12 billion from the mining tax as stated in the budget?


Ms GILLARD (Prime Minister) —Once again I thank the Leader of the Opposition for his question. As the Leader of the Opposition knows, I have said today there will be genuine negotiations. I have said today that it is about those who agree that Australians are entitled to a fairer share of the mineral wealth in our grounds working together to get the right result. Now the government believes Australians are entitled to a fairer share of the mineral wealth in our grounds. We believe that is the birthright of Australians, the minerals that we all jointly own and have inherited—minerals that can be dug up and sold only once. The mining industry has acknowledged that it can pay more tax, so the government and the mining industry have an agreement that they can pay more tax. We believe they should pay more tax. That is a very firm foundation stone for negotiations and, with the Minister for Resources and Energy and the Treasurer, we will build on it.

Interestingly there are people in this parliament beyond that consensus, who do not believe that Australians are entitled to a fairer share, who do not believe that the mining industry can pay more tax. Those people are the Leader of the Opposition and the team that he leads. They are outside the consensus on which we will build. As we build on that consensus, of course, we will keep the Australian people informed, as is proper and appropriate, but our intention is to genuinely negotiate. And once again I would take this opportunity to thank, as I am advised, BHP for exhibiting goodwill today by removing its advertising, as the government has removed its.