MRRT court challenge set for 2013

FORTESCUE Metals Group will push ahead with its fight to abolish the Minerals Resource Rent Tax after the High Court of Australia agreed to hear the iron ore producer’s constitutional challenge against the tax.
MRRT court challenge set for 2013 MRRT court challenge set for 2013 MRRT court challenge set for 2013 MRRT court challenge set for 2013 MRRT court challenge set for 2013

 

Lauren Barrett

A directions hearing for the matter was held before Chief Justice Robert French.

It is understood parties will now make submissions after French declared a ruling be held before the full bench in the High Court in March next year.

A Fortescue spokesman could not provide further details to ILN sister publication MiningNews.net on the High Court challenge until lawyers had been consulted.

Fortescue first flagged a potential challenge back in March this year, when the MRRT legislation passed the Senate.

The company stayed true to its word and launched a challenge against the tax in June following months of legal advice.

Fortescue argues the tax is unconstitutional on the grounds it discriminates between the states, curtails state sovereignty and restricts a state’s ability to encourage mining.

Fortescue is confident it has a good case for challenging the MRRT on constitutional grounds and previously said it expected to pay next to nothing under the tax.

The MRRT, which came into effect on July 1 and taxes the profits of coal and iron ore companies operating in Australia, came under fire recently from mining tycoon Clive Palmer after learning the tax had not yet raised any profits for the government.

Palmer, an avid campaigner against the tax, said in a statement the MRRT had killed investment in Australian mining.

“The MRRT has also destroyed Australia’s role in mining exploration for future generations,” he said.

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