21 May 2010
Today BHP Billiton met with the Resource Tax Consultation Panel advising the Australian Government on its proposed super tax on the Australian resources sector. BHP Billiton conveyed to the panel that the proposed super tax has been designed in a way that has the unintended effect of dramatically slowing investment in Australia and putting the future prosperity and employment prospects of all Australians at risk.
BHP Billiton conveyed that the four principles of sound tax reform were not present in the proposed super tax. As previously conveyed to the Government, BHP Billiton believes any new tax on the minerals resources industry needs to:
- be prospective in application, so as to preserve Australia's position as a stable place for investment.
- ensure the overall tax burden is competitive with other mineral resources countries, or Australia will lose investment to countries with more attractive tax regimes.
- vary by commodity, because the investment characteristics and margins of individual minerals are different.
- be levied on the value of minerals alone - and not unintentionally penalise investments in infrastructure, processing or other enabling activities.
BHP Billiton conveyed to the Resource Tax Consultation Panel that the proposed tax does not recognise how investment decisions are made in the industry and would place Australia in an uncompetitive position globally.
In particular, BHP Billiton urged the Resource Tax Consultation Panel to recommend to the Government that the time be taken to properly engage with the industry on all aspects of the tax rather than pursue selective adjustments in order to achieve the objectives of tax reform that benefits Australia.