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Thursday, 26 June 2014
Page: 7536

Mr GRAY (Brand) (13:26): I take pleasure in rising to speak against the Minerals Resource Rent Tax Repeal and Other Measures Bill 2013 [No. 2]. The MRRT is not the most elegant piece of public policy or taxation and it was certainly not conceived in the best possible environment; however, the MRRT does have the following virtue: it generates revenue that can be put to the good use of good governance for all time. Members of the House should be aware that yesterday the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics published its June quarterly figures. Those June quarterly figures show that Australia's resources and energy commodity export earnings are estimated to have increased 11 per cent in 2013-14 to a total of almost $200 billion. So since this tax came in the resources sector actually grew and it grew beyond the natural growth of our Australian economy by a factor of three. It grew by 11 per cent in 2013-14—$200 billion in revenue in total.

The BREE figures released just this week show that Australia's minerals and energy commodity export earnings are forecast to increase again by 2.6 per cent to over $200 billion in the coming year. It says:

Australia is continuing to see the transition from the investment phase of the mining boom to the production phase. Throughout 2013-14 the production of key resources and energy commodities has increased, supported by continuing demand growth in key markets.

Let us think about that for a second. It says that the introduction of the MRRT was done at a time when total minerals production grew by 11 per cent and when total revenue to the nation increased by over 2.5 per cent. It says quite clearly that the impact of the MRRT did not have a negative impact on our resources economy.

Another way of viewing that very simply is to look at our resources economy in historic terms. In 2003 commodity prices were low and committed investment in the resources sector was a record low of around $20 billion. Today's prices for minerals and commodities are much higher and investment has multiplied too. Higher commodity prices have driven mining investment on a scale that the world had not previously seen and certainly no previous coalition government had ever seen. Certainly this coalition government will not see investment in the resources sector that matches the investment in the resources sector that Labor presided over. We got resources: we understood resources, we understood what you could do and we understood what resources could do for our nation.

Committed investment during Labor six years totalled almost $270 billion. In 1948, following World War II, the operation to rebuild Europe, the Marshall Plan, was initiated. The Marshall Plan was valued at $13 billion. In current dollar terms, the Marshall Plan would be a $120 billion program over four years. The resources investment under Labor totalled $270 billion, two Marshall Plans in six years—global investment, the like of which our nation and no other economy has ever seen. How dare members opposite criticise the most competent and capable stewardship of the resources sector that our country and our economy have ever seen.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Hon. BC Scott ): Order! The debate is interrupted in accordance with standing order 43. The debate may be resumed at a later hour, and the honourable member will have leave to continue his remarks when the debate is resumed.