Bob Brown racist, Minerals Council claims

The Minerals Council of Australia has labelled the Greens and Bob Brown ‘xenophobic’ following their attack on the mining industry.

Earlier today, Greens leader Bob Brown attacked foreign owned mines and called for strengthening of the mining tax.

The Greens commissioned research which found approximately 83% of mining in Australia is run by foreign owned companies.

“I think Australians simply have been left in the dark about the rapid takeover of ownership offshore of Australia’s minerals," he told the ABC.

“I don’t think Australians have any idea that Australia’s mining industry is 83 per cent foreign owned.”

He went on to claim the industry’s campaign against the tax misrepresents the truth, and the extent of homegrown mine ownership.

“A few local billionaires who’ve made a motza out of mining are covering up for the much greater profits than even they have yielded flowing overseas into the pockets of similar millionaires scattered around the world,” he said.

This view was supported by Australian iron ore mine Fortescue Metals.

Its CEO, Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest claimed that  Australians will "need passports to visit our kids" as mutlinationals will be the only employers in the country’s mining industry, The Age reports.

Minerals Council of Australia CEO Mitch Hooke has hit back at what it calls “a xenophobic report by the Greens.

“The projections in The Greens’ report are irreconcilable with the facts,” he said.

Hooke stated that report 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 ownership in the country’s minerals industry, either directly or indirectly.

“The Greens are promoting the politics of envy and xenophobia is a disturbing political portent given The Greens will hold the balance of power in the Senate.  Senator Brown is campaigning to close down the coal industry and ban uranium mining. Now he wants to tax the industry out of existence.”

Hooke stated that 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.”

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