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Analysis: Andrew Forrest's big dare

Andrew Forrest has a habit of causing controversy, but his latest assault on the establishment could go much further than a headline grabbing declaration about Fortescue Metals skipping any mining tax liability for at least five years.

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Perth, WA
Why am I not surprised? If Twiggy is right Wayne Swan and Julia Gillard really have some explaining to do.

Australia
I sat through a presentation by one of the major law firms the other day for an update to the second draft of the MRRT legislation. The presentation was by a partner and senior associate, who bill out at an average of $1,100/hr for corporate tax advice. Despite their lofty credentials and fee, they basically said the second draft of the legislation is so complex they can't understand it. They believe the government has done this intentionally so that the legislation can be passed with a minimum of fuss and subsequent interpretation of the legislation will enable the government to tax back what it missed out in the first draft of legislation. This will be subject to huge legal disputes between the tax office and the big miners. Unfortunately the smaller miners will have to deal with the same legislation without the same legal fire power. Either way, the smaller miners will get screwed. Such is the way of the current government.

Someone had to have the intestinal fortitude to stand up to a government that managed to inch into government on a mistruth and then break the promise that secured it the job. There couldn't be a better person to take them on; good luck Twiggy.

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