Mining tax causes split in WA Labor ranks

Elements of the Labor party in Western Australia have called for mining tax to be delayed.

Elements of the Labor party in Western Australia have called for mining tax to be delayed.

WA shadow state development minister Mark McGowan said the tax should not only be delayed, but that the State should receive a greater share of the infrastructure fund.

These statements provoked an angry reaction from Federal resources minister Martin Ferguson.

According to The West, McGowan demanded that the Mineral Resources Rent Tax is delayed until the national tax summit next year; that infrastructure funding is distributed depending on how much State is taxed; that magnetite is excluded from the tax; and that application of the MRRT to other minerals apart from coal and iron ore requires the consent of the Parliament.

However, Federal treasurer Wayne Swan has previously stated that the mining tax will not be up for discussion at the summit.

Ferguson responded to McGowan’s demands by stating that a consultation group is already carrying out talks with the industry and has been looking at the potential exclusion of magnetite iron ore.

“McGowan’s comments merely reflect his failure to understand where consultations with industry are at and his lack of appreciation of the Government’s announcement of July 2, which for example excluded gold and aluminium,” Ferguson said.

He went on to say that WA is already getting the larger share of the infrastructure fund.

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