Miners can breathe easy

SLAPS on the back and congratulations went all around Gladstone yesterday when the Australian Government announced its changes to the Resource Super Profits Tax (RSPT).

From the miners to family investors, the industry word is that the wheels can now keep on turning for the Gladstone region.

The renamed Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) will apply only to iron ore and coal in Australia, and will be capped at 30 per cent rather than the original 40 per cent proposed.

“The breakthrough agreement keeps faith with our central goal from day one: to deliver a better return for the Australian people for the resources they own and which can only be dug up once,” Prime Minister Gillard said in a statement.

Other commodities will not be included, which reduces the number of affected companies from 2500 to about 320.

Significantly, the new tax will only kick in when profit exceeds the long-term government bond rate plus seven per cent – compared with just the bond rate in the original plans of the Rudd Government – meaning the cut-in rate will be about 12 per cent at current bond rates.

However the boost in compulsory superannuation contribution from nine to 12 per cent will remain.

Gladstone Industry Leadership Group chief executive Kurt Heidecker said he believed it was a positive outcome.

“I think what has been done sets the board parameters for this new MRRT, which is a really positive development, but in many ways it is only the first step,” Mr Heidecker said

“However, we still have to work through the finer detail.”



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