Posted by: jkirkby8712 | November 24, 2011

Wednesday, 23 November 2011 – Mining tax through in early hours of this morning.

I jumped the gun a little the other day, when I talked about the passing of the mining tax [Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) – mining tax to most people].  That in fact happened overnight, although it still has to get through the Senate, next year now! As the following report describe the occasion, it’s the Gillard government’s second big economic reform but the mining tax has passed parliament’s lower house in the dead of night with just four people watching on [hopefully, this means in the gallery, and that there was obviously a reasonably full complement of members on hand to vote at that time!].  Unlike the carbon pricing package, there was no applause, hugs or kisses. The Minerals Resource Rent Tax Bill 2011 passed the lower house in the early hours of Wednesday after a marathon sitting day. Voting on the bill and 10 associated pieces of legislation didn’t begin until almost 0030 AEDT.  The vote on the bills finished at 0242 AEDT. Treasurer Wayne Swan said the historic reform meant all Australians would share in the benefits from the country’s non-renewable resources.

The 30 per cent tax to start on July 1, 2012 is expected to generate about $12 billion to 2013/14, which the government will put towards a company tax rate cut, infrastructure and an increase in the superannuation guarantee rate from nine to 12 per cent. It covers big coal and iron ore companies. An Australian Greens attempt to include gold and uranium mines as well was rejected by Speaker Harry Jenkins on the grounds it would lead to the laws being unconstitutional.  However, independent MP Andrew Wilkie’s change to increase the profit threshold at which the tax kicks in, to $75 million from the previous $50 million, became part of the final legislation. This was part of Mr Wilkie’s deal with the government to secure his vote. Greens MP Adam Bandt told the chamber on Monday he couldn’t vote for the MRRT with Mr Wilkie’s amendment because it would lead to a shortfall in revenue of $100 million over five years. But Labor agreed late on Tuesday night to a new revenue measure to offset this amount. Mr Bandt told journalists in Canberra a condition of the deal was the Greens couldn’t reveal any details of this measure but he said it wasn’t a new tax.\ In the final votes, he sided with the government. However, he said earlier his party colleagues reserved their decision on how they would vote in the Senate, depending on how the legislation was amended in the lower house. Other amendments that WA Nationals MP Tony Crook said would make the tax fairer for smaller mining companies were defeated. These included a 10 million tonne threshold so small mines were not taxed, exclusion of magnetite ore and a commitment that the whole mining industry would not pay the tax earlier or at a higher rate than the big three miners.  The Minerals Resource Rent Tax Bill 2011 will now go to the Senate for debate next year. 

Why do we need this mining tax [MRRT]? According to one answer given to that question, is that currently, mining companies are extracting non-renewable resources from Australia’s soil. States and territories receive a royalty tax from mining companies to pay for the removal of such resources. The Australian Government believes that current charging arrangements are inadequate and have led to exploitation of Australia’s non-renewable resources by the large mining companies. As the price and demand for minerals has increased, so have the profits of the mining companies, yet the charging arrangements have not been reviewed to take this into consideration. The proposed MRRT would also lead to the distribution of mining revenue to the whole of Australia and not just those states fortunate enough to be resource-rich. It would also serve to simplify the complicated excise and royalty agreements which currently exist.  The proposed tax was first mentioned as a Resource Super Profits Tax in the Henry Tax Review, which highlighted the inefficiencies of Australia’s current tax system

Anyway, hopefully I was asleep at the that when our politicians finally retired for the night/morning  –  and although it was well after 1am before I got to bed, I was awake again at 6am or thereabouts – but today, decided my on air local sports report would take place via the phone, at 6.45am. Oddly, Susie was up and about at that time also – she had another early shift at the bakery today. I actually sent Adam a message before I went on air, assuming he had also been working since the early hours – was hoping to get a result from last night’s round of local 20/20 cricket to include in my results, with most of the weekend’s cricket, bowls, etc, having been washed out because of the rain on Saturday. But, didn’t hear back from him.

Today, coolish conditions expected, 19 degrees with a few showers. Not sure if I will do much outside in any case, suffering a little from an infected toe at present, which is annoying me somewhat, don’t really want to have to go back to the doctor and seek out some antibiotics, but that is usually the only way the problem remedies itself. My home treatment doesn’t seem to work. Annoying!

I’ve noticed a report from the professional organisation I will resigning from at the end of the year – the CPA [Certified Public Accountants] –  regarding their monthly magazine ‘INTHEBLACK’ which is CPA Australia’s flagship publication.  Apparently this month, INTHEBLACK received two Publishers Australia Excellence Awards.  The magazine was awarded ‘Relaunch of the Year’ and named ‘Association or Member Organisation Magazine of the Year’.   Recognition of the new direction in presentation and content layout, etc which has appeared over the past year or so  – while there has not always been a great deal of material in the magazine which has been of major relevance to my major work roles, I do consider the standard of INTHEBLACK these days to be quite excellent and something that all CPA members can rightly be proud of. When I formally resign from the CPA [not prepared to pay the high subscription rates as a non-worker in the future], I will also discontinue with the magazine subscription as well, as I doubt I will have the time or the interest to devote too much time to reading the contents. As indicated somewhere else, plan to try and put that aspect of my life in the past, and look ahead to new challenges, etc.

Meanwhile, my football team is making an enthusiastic start to it’s preparations for the 2012 season [I seem to recall being promised a late birthday present by my daughters of a 2012 member’s ticket now that I have ‘more free time’ to go to games – might remind them about that some time soon!]. Monday was the start of a big week for the Carlton Football Club. The action commenced around 7:00am at Visy Park as the players started arriving for the 7:30 meeting that signalled the commencement of pre-season training in Australia for the 2012 season. Dylan Buckley, although not officially a Carlton player until he is selected with Carlton’s third round selection, number 62 overall, in Thursday’s National Draft, was one of the new faces at Carlton’s first training session at Visy Park today.  Nick Heyne, who was previously on St Kilda’s list, also joined the Carlton players on the track at Visy Park. Nick has been given permission to train with the Blues after being delisted by the Saints following the 2011 season. Other new faces at the first session included new Assistant Coach Paul Williams and new Fitness and Conditioning Coach Joel Hocking.  While not on the training track, Carlton’s new General Manager Football Operations, Andrew McKay, was also a new face as the Blues commenced preparations for the 2012 season. Andrew officially commenced in his new role last Friday with today being like a first day with all the players and coaches returning to work. It will be a busy first week for McKay with training commencing and then the National Draft in Sydney on Thursday evening and two more new faces to welcome to Carlton for 2012. All the players were involved in the running and general fitness activities during the morning that included a running test in the warm up area of the facilities at Visy Park. There was little time for the players to rest as they got down to business for 2012. The promise of a continuation of Carlton’s slow climb up the ladder over recent years is very real,. And  hopefully, a season to look forward to.

Received an email this afternoon from the ‘new me’ back at the office – sending me copies of the monthly financial report for my perusal and verification, probably should have done this tonight, but deferred it until the morrow, will be happy when my ‘connections’ are no longer needed in that area.



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