Mixed reactions to mining tax victory




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The Government’s victory at passing the mining tax through the senate has re-sparked heated debate, both inside and outside Parliament House, over the legislation’s legitimacy.

Even before the tax was passed, Queensland Liberal senator Sue Boyce, in the final hours of senate, slammed the Government for targeting the nation’s big earners.

"They are singing the song of the politics of envy, non-stop," she said.

Other Liberal senator’s joined suit, with Mathias Cormann telling ABC radio the tax was likely to be killed by the High Court.

"Labor’s mining tax will be thrown out by the High Cout just like their dodgy Malaysia people swap deal," he said.

"I am confident that will happen soon."

Cormann also joined with Opposition Treasurer Joe Hockey to accuse the Gillard Government of reducing Australia’s mining competitiveness on the global scale.

According to The West Australian WA Mines Minister Norman Moore said the tax would hurt WA.

"It means a significant outflow of companies’ money from WA to other parts of the country," he said.

The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies chief executive Simon Bennison also told The West Australian the tax’s passage marked a "sad day".

According to The Sydney Morning Herald mining magnate Andrew Forrest is expected to announce a legal challenge the tax this week.

But Finance Minister Penny Wong told the ABC the Government was confident it could fight-off any legal challenge, and criticised the Coalition for finding "any excuse to vote no on this legislation".

Wong said the mining tax was about "sharing the benefits of the boom".

And not everyone was up-in-arms over the tax, with CFMEU national president Tony Maher welcoming the legislation as a chance to benefit the wider Australian economy.

“The MRRT is a great start towards managing our mining boom in the interests of all Australians, not just wealthy mining executives and shareholders,” he said.

“The measures the MRRT will deliver – a regional infrastructure fund, increased superannuation and a company tax cut – are all sensible reforms designed to spread a portion of the mining companies’ embarrassment of riches across the economy.”

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