Making the most out of Kevin Rudd’s no-show at the Minerals Council dinner tonight, Abbott gave the audience reassurance that he would scrap the resources super-profits tax if he was elected.
“I apologise for my fellow parliamentarian Kevin Rudd not attending the dinner tonight,” he said.
“He will instead be celebrating the Labor Party’s single term in government.”
Clearly enjoying the enhanced support from the mining constituency, who has been more accustomed to seeing him on television clad in lycra on long-distance bike rides, Abbott declared that the RSPT would “kill the mining boom dead”
“Changing royalties is not a matter for the federal government,” he said.
“Under the new tax, Australian mining companies’ taxes would increase to 57 per cent, and [they would] be the highest taxed mining companies in the world.
“The only winners in this are the overseas mining companies.
“I have nothing against overseas mining companies. But I would not like to see Australian companies disadvantaged.”
Abbott said he owned no mining shares and was not benefitting financially from opposing the RSPT.
His point of view on the matter was purely in the national interest.
“The new tax could not be more calculated to destroy the mining industry and shows a complete lack of understanding of how the world works,” he said.
Abbott did his best to reflect mining outrage at the proposed RSPT.
“I know what the PM is like,” he said. “I’ve listened to enough of his speeches. I think the industry is awake to the PM. I don’t think the people are going to be gulled.”
The speech went down well with the audience, who spent the morning listening to speakers who outlined the effect of the tax on the industry’s global competitiveness as part of Mining Week.
“He [Abbott] is not leaving us in any doubt where he stands,” Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said.
“He’s hit the nail on the head – this is a bad tax.”
Roche was particularly concerned about an independent report by KPMG which found that 100 million tonnes of thermal coal at the feasibility study level would be badly affected by the RSPT, while the net present value of new thermal coal projects is slashed by 57%.