Xenophobia and flawed projections behind Greens mining report
Today’s xenophobic report by the Greens on the globalised nature of Australia’s mining industry relies on flawed projections to make a crude case for punitive new taxes on the minerals sector.
All Australians have real ownership in Australia’s minerals industry and real equity in its economic prosperity. Millions of Australians share in the wealth generated by Australian mining operations either as:
- direct or indirect (though superannuation funds) shareholders;
- direct and indirectly engaged employees, of which there are about 750,000 Australians; and
- owners and employees of businesses supplying the minerals sector with goods and services, particularly in remote and regional Australia where mining is often the main source of economic activity.
Promoting the politics of envy and xenophobia is a disturbing political portent given The Greens will hold the balance of power in the Senate. The Greens leader Senator Brown is campaigning to close down the coal industry and ban uranium mining. Now he wants to tax the industry out of existence.
It is clear the Greens have no intention of promoting the development of Australia’s minerals industry to the benefit of all Australians.
The projections in The Greens’ report are irreconcilable with the facts.
Just this month, Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens said that high commodity prices have substantially boosted national income, adding some 15 per cent or more of annual Gross Domestic Product.
In 2009, the Federal Government revealed that since 2004-2005 the expansion of the mining industry had delivered a $334 billion boost to Commonwealth revenue.
In the last decade, 98 per cent of the cash flow from Australian mining operations was paid to Governments in the form of taxes and royalties or reinvested.
Of the increase in national revenue from `Mining Boom Mark I’, independent economic analysis concluded that two- thirds of that income washed through the Australian economy and a third went to mining companies’ revenues.
These are facts not projections.
The companies repeatedly targeted by The Greens are all on record demonstrating that they have reinvested in Australia either all, or most, of the revenue they generated from their Australian operations, over the past decade.