Western Australian business groups in have rallied to call on the Senate to repeal the Minerals Resource Rent Tax and the carbon tax.
A joint statement released on Monday by the chief executive officers of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA, the Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA, and the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies stated that the Senate should repeal both the Mining and Carbon taxes to ensure the economy remains competitive and productive, and to create jobs.
“Maintaining a high fixed price of carbon will continue to damage the competitiveness of Australian businesses,” the statement said.
“Australian businesses face increasing competition at home and abroad from overseas suppliers who are not charged for their carbon emissions.
“The high cost of doing business is a key barrier to further investment in Australia.
“Removing these taxes will be an important way for Government to alleviate this cost burden and restore international competitiveness.”
The resource industry lobbyists also said that the Coalition government’s commitment to repealing these taxes was central to their electoral success, and that it must act as soon as possible.
The federal government will not be able to force the issue without resistance from the rest of the Upper House, as the current composition of the Senate is 34 seats to Coalition, 31 to Labor, nine for the Greens, and one each to Nick Xenophon and the Democratic Labour Party.
The Coalition will have to relinquish four Senate seats in July this year, won by minority parties at the last federal election, however six senate seats in Western Australia are up for re-election on April 5, after the The High Court, sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns, declared the result of the election for senators in Western Australia void in February.
A joint statement demanding Senate action on the unpopular business taxes was also issued by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and the Minerals Council of Australia.