A LABOR-imposed mines tax is nowhere near as detrimental to the coal industry as an emissions trading scheme, warns a leading figure in the mining community.
Yancoal managing director Brian Flannery, whose company Felix Resources was acquired by China’s Yanzhou Coal Mining in a $3.3 billion deal late in 2009, believes an ETS is foolhardy when the rest of the world can’t agree on climate change, and would hurt ordinary Australians.
On site at Minerva mine, Mr Flannery said the minerals resource rent tax brokered by BHP Billiton, Xstrata and Rio Tinto, was a satisfactory outcome.
“From a mining point of view, the original proposal was going to devalue our mines because the (RSPT) tax kicked in at the bond rate of six per cent which was ridiculous,” he said.
“The outcome now is quite satisfactory providing it goes to legislation without major changes.
“When we get extremely high prices, like we did a couple of years ago, the tax would kick in, but in today’s markets the tax wouldn’t have a great effect as prices are reasonable.
“They’re not anywhere near as high as they were two years ago before the global financial crisis.”
Minerva mine pays the Queensland government $462,000 a week in royalties with its 11 trainloads of coal going to export through the Gladstone port.
Mr Flannery said when he asked his workers where they wanted to see the state spend some of those royalties, most replied Emerald Hospital.
Any ETS would be damaging to the economy, he asserted.
“I agree with the Coalition on this matter because of the fundamental philosophy we as Australia can’t afford it as an economy,” Mr Flanner said.
Mr Flannery, who hosted the Nationals Barnaby Joyce and Warren Truss on site, along with LNP candidate for Flynn Ken O’Dowd, said above all he feared the Greens holding the balance of power after the August 21 election.
“They will never run the country and therefore, can have all the policies they like and can never implement them other than to design new tree houses,” he said.
“Guys like (leader Bob) Brown are negative, and if they had their own way they would shut the mining industry down.”
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