Mining profit tax will hurt trucking: King


WA Transport Forum fears trucking operators will be hurt by a 40 percent tax on mining profits

By Brad Gardner | May 14, 2010

The WA Transport Forum fears trucking operators will be hurt by the Rudd Government’s proposed 40 percent tax on mining profits.

Transport Forum CEO Ian King is concerned mining companies will shelve projects to avoid paying the fee. Rio Tinto has warned the tax may limit investment in the sector and slow jobs growth.

"The introduction of that tax will have an impact on the transport industry," King says.

"They [mining companies] will say, ‘sorry guys we don’t need you because we aren’t expanding’."

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says the tax will ensure Australians receive a fair share of the revenue from the resources sector.

But Rio Managing Director David Peever says the country is already getting a fair return.

"Across commodity price cycles, Rio Tinto has maintained its strong record of investment in Australia for more than a generation, expanding its business and creating wealth for shareholders and the broader Australian community," Peever says.

Revenue from the tax will be used to fund infrastructure projects in resource-rich states, pay for small business tax breaks and finance an increase to superannuation benefits.

But in an opinion piece originally published in The West Australian newspaper, Professor Gavin Mooney and Colin Penter, from the WA Social Justice Network, write that mineral tax and royalties as a proportion of profits declined over the past decade.

"The idea, too, that many jobs will be lost as a result of this tax does not stand up to examination. Total employment in the mining industry is only a little over 130,000," Mooney and Penter write.

During his budget reply speech last night, Coalition leader Tony Abbott vowed to oppose the tax.


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