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WA Government should not waste public money on FMG's High Court scheme

Media Release
Scott Ludlam 22 Jun 2012

The Western Australian Government should not waste taxpayer's money on supporting the Fortescue Metals Group court challenge to the mining super profits tax, the Greens said today.

Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam said it would be outrageous if the Barnett Government used public resources to help FMG dodge the tax.

"The mining super profits tax is designed to harness the mining boom for the benefit of all Australians. There are 2.5 million people in the state of Western Australia, and 2.4 million of them do not work in mining. About eighty per cent of shareholders in mining companies operating in Australia are based overseas, yet the Barnett Government is considering wasting WA taxpayers' money on helping the biggest mining companies avoid paying their taxes.

"The mining super profits tax is just 22.5 per cent, and only on iron ore and coal profits above $75million a year. The mining tax has been on the agenda since 2010 yet this year overseas investment in mining in Australia hit a record high. It is not a sovereign risk, and it won't hurt the industry.

"The Premier had the nerve to claim this is about trying, in his words, to 'protect the ownership of the assets of the state-owned natural resources of West Australians'. If West Australians own these resources, why should only a handful of people - mostly overseas - benefit from them? That is precisely what the mining super profits tax is trying to fix.

"The Greens have always argued that the super profits tax should be strengthened, not weakened."


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