Wednesday, August 18, 2010

An election statement from Fortescue Metals

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Here is a statement made by Fortescue Metals in the last week of the election. Since I support their efforts I will post the message here:
As the Federal Election draws closer, Australians remain deeply concerned about the impact the Mark 2 Super Tax (Minerals Resources Rent Tax – MRRT) will have on the Australian economy and our communities.
Unfortunately for all except the big three multinational miners, the construction of the Mark 2 Super Tax has been shrouded in secrecy.
The Mark 2 Super Tax is as equally unfair as the Mark 1 version, and the ability to model its affects, and in turn finance projects, remains debilitated by the lack of detail and transparency of the new arrangements. We estimate that the marginal rate of tax has fallen from around 57% (Mark 1 Super Tax – RSPT) to around 50% (Mark 2 Super Tax - MRRT) but this remains substantially above the 40% rate that is the next highest rate to be found anywhere else in the world, so will render the Australian mining industry uncompetitive in the global industry.
The changes in the new tax are biased against infrastructure providers like Fortescue, which provides third party access to other smaller miners, so imposes an additional handicap on companies’ ability to fund and construct their own infrastructure. We’ll become a nation that can’t survive without the Government teat. Also, Mark 2’s debt finance benchmark advantages large, multinational, companies with large balance sheets, as opposed to Australian mine development companies like Fortescue that rely on commercial finance to fund project and infrastructure development.
Government and the three multi-national, multi-commodity resource companies hatched a secret agreement that benefited them only. Those companies, and their associated industry representative bodies, were forced to sign secrecy agreements that prohibited them from discussing the Mark 2 Super Tax until after the election. Commentary with the media was banned. What could be so bad in that agreement with our Government that the Australian people are not allowed to judge it - until after they cast their votes?
I urge you to contact the editors of local, state and national newspapers in your state immediately to ensure our voices are heard during this important week for our nation. The following is an example of a letter you could send to your relevant media organisation.
Andrew Sheldon

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