AMEC slams Green plans

THE Association of Mining and Exploration Companies has slammed a plan proposed by the Greens to abolish diesel fuel credits for the mining industry.
AMEC slams Green plans AMEC slams Green plans AMEC slams Green plans AMEC slams Green plans AMEC slams Green plans


Andrew Duffy

The proposed bill plans to dump diesel credits except for agricultural purposes, meaning farmers will not be impacted.

“Big mining corporations get off scot-free in Tony Abbott’s brutal Budget,” Greens leader Christine Milne said.

“Why should they get cheap fuel while important services for everyone else are slashed?”

AMEC CEO Simon Bennison said the Greens’ plan was naive and did not take into account the essential role of diesel fuel in the mining industry.

“Diesel fuel is a significant input cost and accounts for up to 25% of total costs for base and precious metals,” he said.

“Due to their remote location, many mining and exploration companies are off the grid and do not have access to a power supply other than diesel fuel power generation.”

Bennison said removal of the tax credit would raise mine cash costs at least 6% for base and precious metals developments.

“This would have serious consequences for emerging miners and junior explorers,” he said.

“These companies are exposed to lower commodity prices, increasing production costs and the vagaries of the exchange rate, and generally don’t make the ‘huge profits’ suggested by the Greens.”

Nevertheless, Milne said big mining companies like BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto were making “mind-boggling multi-billion dollar profits”

“Tony Abbott was wrong to ask everyday Australians to dig deeper in his brutal Budget,” she said.

“Now it is time for him to ask those that are already doing the digging to return some of our resources and share the wealth with all Australians before the boom is over.

“The age of entitlement for the big end of town is over.”

Bennison said the mining industry contributed billions in taxes, fees, charges and levies, and research by the Australian Government’s Trade and Assistance Review found mining was the least supported sector in the nation.

“More will be achieved by growing the industry rather than suffocating it with extra costs, such as the removal of the diesel fuel credit,” he said.

“The Greens continue to ignore the billions of dollars already paid by the industry to the federal government in income tax, and the significant economic and social benefits that it creates in most parts of Australia.”

Along with abolishing the diesel rebate for miners, the proposed bill plans to scratch accelerated depreciation for assets such as cars, planes and other machinery.

It also hopes to end immediate deductions for exploration and prospecting expenses.

Costings from the Parliamentary Budget Office, requested by the Greens, show removing the concessions would raise $13 billion in revenue.

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