The federal government should not featherbed the big mining corporations by rebating state royalties, and Barry O'Farrell should get his facts right on the carbon price, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.
"The Gillard government is in a bind over its feeble mining tax. Already, $100 billion is being lost over the next 10 years from the public purse. This is money which should be going to hospitals, housing, schools, dental care or developing high-speed rail," Senator Brown said in Hobart.
"Mining company profits leapt 15.2 per cent to near $25 billion in the three months to June. The states have a right to increase royalties. But the Commonwealth is wrong to repay that money to the miners.
"As far as saying to the states, ‘well, you can't increase royalties', that again will cost the taxpayer. Ultimately, unless the government amends its own watered-down mining tax, we may end up with the federal taxpayer subsidising the states and the mining companies getting off scot-free.
"But Premier O'Farrell's claims on the carbon tax don't add up. The carbon pricing package negotiated by the Greens will be a boon for clean energy jobs in New South Wales," Senator Brown said.
New South Wales has enough clean energy potential to power 3,000,000 homes, remove pollution equivalent to 3,300,00 cars and create 6,600 jobs.
- Clean Energy Jobs in Regional Australia, Climate Institute, 1/3/2011
"It is also notable that both the New South Wales and Victorian modelling has nothing at all to say about the damage that unmitigated climate change would wreak on their economies," Senator Brown said.