Diggers Gets Very Political

Source:

"The conference had until now been apolitical. . .but no longer."

Diggers & Dealers Chairman Barry Elldridge in his address, said the conference had until now been apolitical, but was no longer. He told a packed auditorium that as the Liberals were planning to axe the tax, they had his vote and undoubtedly that of most in the audience. Loud applause followed.

Elldridge said when Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan proposed the resource super profit tax the industry and its community reacted appropriately and undoubtedly this was a factor behind Rudd being removed.

The RRT compromise was more about re-election than refocus "and it is not unreasonable to consider that the more extreme portion of the initial proposal will be reintroduced, if these people get re-elected," he said, adding the new RRT is supposed to redistribute the country's resource wealth "to the real owners" all Australians.

"There is no recognition in the tax pillage of the direct benefits that the resources' sector already delivers through various taxes spent all over Australia, no recognition of direct and indirect employment opportunities and no recognition of the exceptional risk profile that resources companies undertake to develop a project."

He said because of the small Australian economy, mine developers have to source their equity overseas. Without international capital and investors these projects would not take place. Why should they not get a return like all investors in cyclical highs.

When commodity prices reduce, how will government trim its "spendathons" on which the broader community will have become dependent? How will governments allow resource companies to make long-term investment decisions requiring billions of dollars when there is the intent of a tax grab?

This, Elldridge said, is too important for miners and explorers to elect a government that does not understand the importance of strong internal economic management by resource companies are required to ensure sustainability.

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