The debate on the Government's mining tax bill is underway in the Senate chamber. It's a shadow of its former self - Australia could do so much better.
You'll remember that the mining industry's aggressive scare campaign before the last election rattled the Government, so it has cut Treasury's original tax rate nearly in half, made exemption after exemption to the tax and slashed the expected revenue by almost 75 per cent.
The mining boom won't last forever. A better designed mining tax could raise a lot more revenue than the proposed Minerals Resource Rent Tax - in the order of $100 billion more over the next decade.
Imagine what we could do with one hundred billion dollars. We could make dental care part of Medicare, or connect 18 million Australians with high speed rail, or start building big solar power plants to cut our reliance on fossil fuels. We could deliver the substantial funding boost to schools so desperately needed across the country - and called for by the Government's own review.
The other parties have missed the point. The Government will sign away billions to the big mining companies, and the Coalition wants to scrap the mining tax altogether, but the Greens' number one priority is investing in Australia's people. That means education, health and transport - resourced the way they should be.
The Greens say, let's go back to Treasury's original plan.
A stronger and fairer mining tax will ensure the largely foreign-owned mining companies pay their fair share for the resources owned by the Australian people. It's an economically responsible way to fund policies that improve the lives of everyone.
p.s. After you've watched the video, ask yourself: ‘How would I spend $100 billion for Australia?' and vote in our poll.
p.p.s. The Government now proposes to introduce legislation in May to hand back $16 billion (over ten years) from this enfeebled mining tax to large corporations by reducing the company tax rate from 30% to 29%. Share this video and help the Greens stop this tax break for large business (while allowing a break for small businesses) so the money can be spent on measures like Denticare, schools and high speed rail.