Chairman's Review

2013 was a year of significant change for the country and the MCA.

In September Tony Abbott’s Liberal national coalition took office heralding a major change in direction for economic and industry policy in Australia.

The new Abbott Government acted quickly on its election mandate to abolish the carbon tax – a move that will lift a $1.2 billion impost from Australian mining once the Senate approves the repeal bills.

Combined with softening commodity prices, the tax imposed significant costs on the minerals industry. It threatened to constrain a growth industry and reduce economic output for negligible environmental gain.

Delivering on another pre-election commitment, the Federal Coalition also took immediate steps to abolish the Minerals Resource Rent Tax.

This was a tax predicated on the falsehood that Australians were not sharing in the benefits of the millennium mining boom, a concept in stark contrast to the reality that over the past 10 years, mining has paid an average effective tax rate in excess of 40 per cent and contributed more than $120 billion in company tax and royalties.

The removal of these two tax imposts will significantly boost investor confidence in Australia and start to reduce the overall cost burden on the minerals sector.

The MCA was at the forefront of the debates over the carbon and mining taxes; and their abolition (expected after July 2014) will be in no small part due to the council’s determined advocacy on both issues.

This was led, of course, by Mitch Hooke who stood aside as Chief Executive of the MCA in December. Mitch had an enormous impact on the mining industry and the Australian public-policy landscape as a tireless campaigner for the sector during some of its most difficult periods.

The MCA Board was delighted that Brendan Pearson, a former MCA Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Peabody Energy’s Vice President, Government Relations and Corporate Affairs accepted an offer to succeed Mitch.

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