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Minerals Council of Australia calls for tax, workplace law reform

Martu workers at Newcrest’s Telfer mine in the Pilbara region. Photo by Newcrest, courtesy of the Minerals Council of Australia

The Minerals Council of Australia published a report titled The Next Frontier: Australian Mining Policy Priorities where it asks the government to advanced a revived tax reform that removes barriers that hinder the growth of the country’s mining sector.

According to the Council, such reform would encourage additional investment in capital and technology.

“Australia should have strong tax integrity rules that are consistent with OECD best practice. The treatment of debt to fund investment in Australia should be aligned with OECD measures and should not affect legitimate debt, which is critical for Australia as a capital-importing economy,” the report reads.

The industry group also called on the Parliament to ensure tax settings are competitive and to retain the Fuel Tax Credit scheme so that companies operating in remote areas are not penalised for off-road diesel use.

In the document, the MCA urges authorities to modernise Australia’s workplace rules, which would imply removing duplication and red tape to allow local firms to stay ahead of the pack globally. In the organization’s view, there is unnecessary overlap in the requirements put forward by federal and state governments and this causes delays on projects and impacts the workforce.

“Flexibility and choice in employment arrangements will ensure that Australia’s highly paid, highly skilled mining workforce will be able to make the most of opportunities created by technology and new ways of working,” the report states.

The Minerals Council of Australia said it fears that jobs and the sustainability of regional and remote communities will be at risk if legislation related to the workplace is kept the way it is right now.