Albanese pledges MRRT funds

Federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese has named several infrastructure projects he aims to jump start with mining tax proceeds

Albanese pledges MRRT funds
Albanese pledges MRRT funds

By Anna Game-Lopata | March 23, 2012

Transport and Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese has named several infrastructure projects to be jump started by mining tax proceeds.

Responding to a question from the Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon this week, Minister Albanese pointed to the Gladstone Port Access Road, estimated to cost $50 million, among others as projects he aims to fund using the Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT).

He also highlighted the Blacksoil Interchange project, costing $54 million, the Townsville Ring Road project, up for $160 million and the Peak Downs Highway project, in Capricornia which requires $120 million.

The MRRT, which passed passed through federal parliament on Monday night would impose a 30 per cent tax on windfall profits of iron ore and coal miners but leave levies on other minerals, such as gold and uranium, untouched.

The government has promised proceeds of the tax to provide critical infrastructure in capacity constrained mining regions, including in the Hunter Valley of NSW.

"That is exactly what the Regional Infrastructure Fund under the MRRT is about," Albanese said.

"It’s about giving back to the communities that are impacted by the consequences that have occurred as a result of the mining boom.

"When you travel to many of the mining communities you are struck by the fact that whilst there is enormous wealth being generated, there are also massive shortages of critical infrastructure, a lack of planning, a lack of foresight and pressure on those communities."

In response to criticism
of the tax, the Minister added, "You cannot have the benefits without having the revenue stream, and that is what this Government understands."

Other projects targeted include the upgrade of the intersection of the Bruce and Capricornia highways, another $40 million; and the Mackay Ring Road Study.

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