QLD joins FMG in mining tax challenge

In a move condemned by the Gillard Government, Queensland has announced plans to join Fortescue Metals Group in a High Court challenge against the mining tax.

ABC News reports a spokesperson for QLD state Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie said the move had been made on crown legal advice.

Last month FMG lodged the challenge on constitutional grounds, and said it expected the case to go before the High Court sometime this year.

At the time FMG general counsel Peter Huston told reporters the company had sought to "run its own race" with the challenge and not join with other state governments.

"We've taken our own advice, we've engaged our own council, we've used our own lawyers," he said.

"We haven't asked for or received any state government legal advice."

Treasurer Wayne Swan said this morning the Queensland Government's move to back FMG in court showed the "influence of Clive Palmer".

The Financial Review reports Swan said the challenge was an attempt to stop the Gillard Government from spreading the benefits of the mining boom.

"Given Clive Palmer would be the biggest winner, and countless thousands of QLD small businesses and households would be the biggest losers if Mr Newman is successful, this challenge should be funded by the LNP, not Queensland taxpayers," he said.

Last week Atlas Iron said it didn’t expect to pay any mining tax and the Federal Government would not make as much money as it expected from the policy.

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