Mining magnate predicts further unemployment

JUNE 2010

MINING executive Clive Palmer claims Queensland’s unemployment rate will hike if the Federal Government’s Resources Super Profits Tax (RSPT) is legislated.

Palmer says he was forced to shelve two major mining projects that would each have created more than 3000 jobs and billions of dollars in revenue.

“The effects of this tax will not be limited to just the mining industry,” he says.

“Unemployment in the resources sector will lead to unemployment in the service industries that operate in mining towns like Mackay or Kalgoorlie. Many of these towns rely on the mining community to fuel their own income and now they face massive uncertainty.

“Increased tax does not equate to increased expansion and that is a critical element the Federal Government has conveniently glossed over since the tax was proposed.

“The Australian mining industry has the potential to provide secure long-term employment for thousands of workers at home, not in Canada or South Africa.”

Meanwhile advertisements placed in major national newspapers by the mining lobby are misleading Australians over the impact of the Government’s tax reforms on their super nest eggs, according to the Industry Super Network. Chief executive David Whiteley, says the claims made by the Mineral’s Council of Australia that the Government’s tax changes will hurt worker’s retirement savings do not stand up to scrutiny.

“The mining lobby appears to have deliberately ignored some basic facts,” he says.

“Firstly they ignore the fact that the Resources Super Profits Tax (RSPT) funds an extension in tax concessions to super needed to accompany the increase in the Super Guarantee to 12 per cent, provide a new tax break to low income earners, and allow catch up contributions for over 50s.

“The combined impact of these measures over a worker’s lifetime dwarfs any claimed direct impact on the value of mining shares owned by super funds. Indeed the direct impact so far appears to be negligible.

“Asserting mining stocks have plunged as a direct result of the RSPT when all stocks have fallen to a similar if not greater degree is plainly deceitful.”

“The big mining companies would be better served sitting down with the Government to sort out implementation details rather than trying to mislead Australians over the impact on their super nest eggs.”

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