Labor to end mining dispute
THE Minister for Tourism, Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson said if Labor won the election he hoped to resolve the small miners' dispute by Christmas.
Speaking in Gladstone yesterday, Mr Ferguson said the Government had a balanced outcome which secures Australia's future in terms of investment.
“There is a threshold of $50 million before tax for small mining companies,” he said.
“More importantly there is an industry-led transition group co-chaired by Don Argus AC and myself, including representatives of small mining companies to actually put in place the final parameters; and if we win on Saturday then I hope to have all those issues resolved by Christmas.”
Small mining companies have attacked the Federal Government's consultation panel chosen to review its proposed resource rent tax, saying it continues the “big-company paradigm'' in negotiating an outcome.
The miners have also labelled as “completely inappropriate'' the announcement of the panel – which is stacked with former employees of mining heavyweights such as BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Woodside.
Yarwun shale oil proponents, Queensland Energy Resources' Simon Eldridge said QER were waiting to see the fine print.
“We won't really know the impact until we see the actual fine-tuned legislation,” Mr Eldridge said.
Mr Ferguson said in his career he had never found an easy argument for increasing taxation.
“Although privately, a significant amount of companies I have been talking to concede that they should be paying more tax,” he said.