Queensland, Australia’s second biggest mining state, through its Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie, is planning to state arguments in a case filed by Andrew Forrest of Fortescue Metals group against Treasurer Wayne Swan. Mining magnate Andrew Forrest has been calling for the removal of the levy on mining profits because it breached the constitution by discriminating resource-rich regions. Labor’s tax is an effort by the part to return the budget back to surplus.
Mr. Swan has criticized how the state is showing its support to Mr. Forrest, saying the call to scrap the levy is a “wasting of taxpayer money to give billionaires a tax cut.” Attorney-General Bleijie however, clarified they will not join the case as a party, but merely state arguments.
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MINING billionaire Andrew Forrest has claimed the mining tax will raise between nothing and $50 million from his company, Fortescue Metals Group, during the first five years of the levy.
With critics saying proceeds from the tax will fall well short of revenue targets, Mr Forrest yesterday stepped up his attack on the government, blasting forecasts that it will raise $10.6 billion as a ”charade”.
He also escalated his war of words with the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, who has accused Mr Forrest of using his wealth and influence to pursue vested interests.
Fortescue Metals Group’s war with Canberra shows no sign of abating, with the iron ore miner urging the government to avoid changes to the diesel tax rebate while also warning that a long-promised constitutional challenge to the mining tax was now just weeks away.
Speaking today at the release of the company’s March quarter results, Fortescue chief executive Nev Power said the legal challenge to the Gillard government’s Minerals Resource Rent Tax was pushing ahead and ‘’looking solid’’.
‘’We are instructing counsel as we speak and briefing them in terms of the challenge to the MRRT and we would expect to be lodging that challenge in the next few weeks,’’ he said.