Coal Media Releases

Coal the answer to energy poverty

The world’s cheapest, most versatile and abundant fuel - coal - must be a major part of the solution to global energy poverty, writes Brendan Pearson. The Washington Post reported in February that the world’s sixth most populous nation, Pakistan, has less than 5 per cent of its original forest cover owing to rampant and mostly illegal logging.

Activists must lump it: populace has spoken

IN Michael Frayn’s 1984 play, The Benefactors, one of the main characters is an activist celebrating a victory over a local council. “The sheer pleasure of it!’’ he exclaims. “We shouted council meetings down — democracy now. We didn’t have to worry about being fair or truthful or tidy. That was the great liberation. Fairness and tidiness and truth are for people who’ve got what they want already.’’ The campaigners for the end of coalmining and exports fit a similar description. They can’t get what they want, so they are again turning to the illegal, the dangerous and the irresponsible.

Senate Should Repeal Mining Tax

Joint statement from John Osborn, Chief Operating Officer, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Jennifer Westacott, Chief Executive, Business Council of Australia; and Brendan Pearson, Chief Executive, Minerals Council of Australia. Three of Australia’s leading business groups are today calling on the Senate to repeal the Minerals Resource Rent Tax. The tax imposes an unnecessary additional burden on Australia’s mining industry, which already pays about $20 billion a year in company tax to the commonwealth and royalties to state governments. It also acts as a disincentive to invest in Australia’s minerals sector at a time when the industry is facing pressing challenges to improve productivity and cost competitiveness. The mining tax is simply another layer of tax on top of company tax and royalties. It does not constitute tax reform. Repeal of the MRRT will help improve Australia’s reputation as an attractive investment destination in the highly competitive global resources market. A strong, growing industry attracting investment will secure prosperity, jobs and higher government revenues for Australia into the future. Australia’s mining industry has paid almost $117 billion in company tax and state royalties since 2006-07. What the mining sector needs now is a reduction in costs and certainty about the tax environment it operates in. That will help bring home the next wave of investment in this important sector. The Senate should vote this week to repeal the MRRT.

Senate Should Support Carbon Tax Repeal

Four of Australia’s leading business groups are today calling on the Senate to swiftly repeal the carbon tax. Australia’s carbon tax is one of the highest in the world. It is making our key industries less competitive every day it stays in place. Most businesses have been unable to pass their carbon tax-related costs on to customers. For small business especially, this has been a major burden that has reduced profitability, suppressed employment and added to already difficult conditions. The negative economic impact of the carbon tax on energy prices and jobs is recognised by both major parties. That is why there was bipartisan support for the ‘termination’ of the carbon tax at the last election. Many cross-bench Senators were also elected on a platform of repealing the carbon tax. But timing makes all the difference. Acting now to repeal the carbon tax would boost business confidence and should be part of a broader national push to reduce high energy costs. Delaying repeal until the new Senate sits would not achieve anything for the environment. It would simply expose business to increasing and damaging uncertainty over the electricity prices they will be obliged to pay from 1 July 2014. We urge the Senate to repeal the carbon tax as soon as possible.

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