WA misses out as Labor weak, Liberals hypocritical on mining tax
Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam. 15 January 2013.
Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said WA Premier Colin Barnett was “having a laugh at WA’s expense” by criticising the mining tax for not raising revenue.
“Premier Barnett ridicules the mining tax for failing to raise a cent – but we would have seen the same outcome under the Liberal policy of having no tax on mining super profits.
“The failure of the mining tax to raise any revenue demonstrates the folly of Labor’s capitulation to the big three mining companies. Labor should have adopted Treasury’s original plan or voted for the amendments the Greens moved in the Senate for a stronger model. Instead, the Federal Government allowed themselves to be bullied by the big mining companies into watering down the tax, blowing a chance to make the most of a once-in-a-generation boom.
“The large mining companies are mostly foreign-owned. The original Henry mining tax would – in our national interest – have stemmed some of the flow of profits out of the country and invested them here, but Labor surrendered that opportunity.
“The Coalition opposes any kind of tax whatsoever on mining super profits and, having made a series of ridiculous doomsday predictions, now lampoon the fact the tax has no impact at all. The hypocrisy is breath-taking.”
Senator Ludlam said Western Australia had depended too heavily on the mining industry and needed to diversify its economic base.
“The mining boom has flattened trade-exposed industries like tourism, education, and manufacturing, while driving up the cost of living in our state. A strong mining super profits tax could have fostered the diversification of the WA economy by funding training, research and development, and start-up grants to small businesses. Instead, the state’s triple-A credit rating is in peril because of tunnel vision on the part of the Labor and Liberal parties.”
Media contact: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302