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Canberra is "really hopeless": Walsh

WA industry leaders Richard Goyder, Sam Walsh and Andrew Forrest lined up today to criticise deputy prime minister Julia Gillard and the federal government's tax and economic policies.

Rio Tinto iron ore chief executive, Mr Walsh, was unusually blunt in his description of the federal government's consultation process for the resoure super profits tax.

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Comments

Northbridge
Oh please, when will the diatribe end. Mining bosses just can't help themselves. If a politician has a few shares in a company then he is excused from decision making. But mining bosses are up to their necks in the industry and yet they are quoted as though they are independent experts, as if we should trust them. Yeah, right! They are seeking to influence the outcome of this decision, regardless of their conflict of interest. If I hear a mining boss say one more time that the Australian Government is trying to damage Australia I think I'm gonna puke. Sovereign risk - c'mon! Recheck the figures on a new project so claim its axed - oh please! The mining industry is trying to get the country run to suit its own interests and if Australians let it then we got no one to blame. We'll go to sleep in a democracy and wake up in a corpocracy.

Osborne Park
The Government asked for the reaction this policy has received with their ambush strategy and failure to consult. Their idea of anything above 6% being super profits was destined to fail and of course they are now negotiating something they said was cast in stone. Their second policy leg to offer 40% refunds of losses to mining businesses that fail to make a profit is stupid. In the current world financial situation markets react to any uncertainty as can be seen on the volatility of the stock market. Our banking sector makes super profits and perhaps they are next for a super profits tax. John Tolhurst - your friend Julia Gillard promotes active debate on this subject, and without the mining companies responding in the fashion they have done there would be no debate on the topic. Again - the government set the agenda for the debate, all employees and businesses in Australia deserve and need to get an explanation from the government on how this tax will affect everyone in Australia in the future.

Subiaco
I run a local not for profit organisation. To date we have received very little support from government however we do receive a great deal of support the mining/resource companies in question. I hate to imagine how the tax will impact the not-for-profit sector. The portion the government take from them will no doubt have a ripple effect down the the many organisations in our community they support

Coolbellup
I disagree with the above totally. Australia does not live in a world of its own. Companies and businesses make economic decisions and they are free to move to other regions of the world that has minerals and resources. The federal government's decision on resources is only only to hurt local industry, jobs and Australia's future prosperity.

Donnybrook
I just see this as another example of the Feds going overboard with their spending , and trying to make it up with what`s rightfully the States . The minerals belong to the state , there is a case for royalties to be increased yes no doubt . My only worry is that if Canberra takes and takes , as with the GST , then we dont` get OUR FAIR SHARE BACK . They say they will return the royalties paid now , but no increases , so here we go again , back to Canberra cap in hand to the Pollies . Why the need to be seen , to be handing money out all the time . The best way to work this is to actually TAX LESS and GIVE LESS , but that would never get thru . What no photo shoots for Kevin and Tony Just ask yourself , how much do we give Canberra and how much do we get back , and then decide who should be taxing the companies

Cottesloe
Oh please John! Don't you understand the very unfortunate thing about this world is that it revolves around money. For companies or individuals to invest capital there needs to be enough profit to justify taking the risk involved. If you take away 40% of the profit, it obliterates the fundamental reason for taking the risk in the first place. Risk Vs Reward. Simple. Chop the reward in half (almost), and you’ll be looking real hard for a better place to take the risk – in this case off the shores of this country where there is no ridiculous tax which is needed to buoy an inefficient Govt. The adverse flow on effect of this tax will compound beyond comprehension into all sectors and industry. My guess John, is that you have a limited exposure to the markets at large, and lack basic economic understanding just like your mate Rudd. Sure, no one likes a greedy pig mining exec, but these people are heading up companies which bring a lot of prosperity to this country and make it the land of opportunity it is. These mining types who in your mind are greedy pigs have probably also taken big risks at one stage in their life to get into the position they are in. It’s risk takers who go out there and make it possible for the people of Australia (Rudd spin: Working Australian Families) to invest thier savings and super in. It would be interesting to see what you’d be saying in 20 years time when your super is struggling and the govt. hasn’t got enough money to pay you a pension because it worked real hard for the “Australian Working Family” and in the competitive global market place we are in, won lots of other countries mining projects we could have had. Even if the tax gets in, it will be overturned because people will wake up when they start to suffer. The cost in the meantime however will be MASSIVE. FYI, I sell a very basic commodity - land. My phone enquiry has dried up since Rudd announced this ridiculous tax and the volume of transactions taking place is down. I was about to employ another person however have decided not now. So, there’s once job you can chalk up as being lost. Not only is it one job lost, it’s less tax revenue from both my business and my would-be employee to go to Rudd & Co. Yep, micro economics....the damage is already taking place, you just haven’t been affected by it yet John, but just you wait!

Perth
While some executives have indeed exaggerated the impact this RSPT will have on sovereign risk and its overall economic impact, the underlying message this policy sends to potential investors (within any industry) is, watch out if you earn too much. This is nothing more than a progressive income tax on companies, the product of old school socialism, whereby the idea sounds nice, fair and reasonable for the collective, but the employment distortions invariably produce results that are not intended and negative. In this case, the Government has either blatantly tried to win an election with presumed populous policy - a gross political miscalculation in itself - or we have just begun to witness a kind of economic idealism that has only ever undermined the real potential of a free economy. Career bureaucrats who do not really understand how jobs are created and sustained need to just get out of the way and allow free markets to function. Look no further than the minimum wage policy - another example of this painful idealism. They'd rather have 8 people employed than have 10, just so long as the 8 get more. Really smart. Some have asserted that democracy should rule over corpocracy. Well of course it should, and I guess we will find out at the next election.

Wanneroo
It is disappointing to note that the Government has taken this approach against the one industry that saved us from a certain recession. How do they repay this industry... by wanting to introduce a Resources Tax that makes our mining companies the most taxed in the world. No consultation with Industry prior to the budget announcement, no thought of the ramifications to the wider community of our State or our people. (As if the Rudd Gov't cared anyway) It is all about trying to claw back some money in an attempt to balance the books in three years time. There is no chance of that either. They have lied that these resources belong to all Australians when they know true well that they belong to Western Australia under the constitution. They lied about the amount of tax that the mining industry pays. They have lied about the total take the Government has received from the Mining Industry over the past decade. You just can't trust them. Look what they did with the GST. Only gave us back 68% and gave the rest to the other states mainly N.S.W and Queensland to win them some more votes. If you think the Labor Government would give us our fair share of the Resources Tax, you would be dreaming.

Las Vegas, Nv.
Mr. Flannigans' "Call to Arms" is right on the money. The excess profit tax will create a wave of Corporate double dealing and Corruption like you have never seen before. The Wizards of Corporate accounting will eat the Politicians lunch and then sell the lunch bucket. If indeed this Labour Gov't is in need of additional revenue, isn't it always (?); it would be far wiser to increase the "Royalty Tax" and be done with it. At least everything will be transparent and all the use of funds in and out of the Treasury will be visable. Force the Corporate World to practice internal fraud and deceptive accounting practices and the Citizens lose all the way round. The Sovereign Risk, and perhaps the risk of moving offshore all downstream production facilities is very real; and the working folks will suffer first and more deeply than any Corporate Exec's and Management. Mr. Tolhurst apparently understands little of International Finance nor Investment Practices.

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