FMG and Barnett take mining tax to the High Court

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Fortescue Metals Group has confirmed it will challenge the mining tax in the High Court and WA Premier Colin Barnett has thrown his support behind the move.

The West Australian reports the WA Government will not join as a plaintiff but will support FMG by giving evidence.

FMG CEO Nev Power told reporters the company was working on the case and would launch the challenge soon.

"We would expect to be launching that challenge in the next few weeks," he said.

Power said the Queensland Government may follow WA’s lead in lending its support.

Barnett said previously a legal challenge against the mining tax was unlikely to succeed.

Yesterday he said the decision to help FMG’s cause was a "matter of principle".

Earlier this week Prime Minister Julia Gillard criticised Barnett for not doing enough for Western Australians not connected to the mining boom.

Gillard said Barnett "did not understand" the pressures on non-mining families if he wanted to scrap the tax.

The West Australian reports FMG is likely to argue the mining tax is unconstitutional because it discriminates between the states and taxes resources owned by the states.

In Perth for the Federal fly-in fly-out inquiry key independent Tony Windsor told reporters Canberra should dedicate a portion of the mining tax’s takings to rural regions to emulate WA’s Royalties for Regions scheme.

Image: PerthNow

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