23 July 2014
The West Australian
More business leaders have called on new senators to put aside party differences and carefully consider major economic reforms.
Rio Tinto boss Sam Walsh is confident the new Senate will scrap the mining tax, despite opposition from minor parties and a drawn out process to repeal the carbon tax.
“Remember, we the Australian people elected the government and elected the minority parties as well,” Mr Walsh told reporters at a business lunch.
“Most importantly, they need to get into the political and economical cycle.
“It’s very early days. People need to learn how to manage all that.
“We still do have a mining tax, but speaking with the prime minister during (Japanese) Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe’s visit, he is committed to removing it.”
Earlier this week, BHP Billiton chief executive Andrew Mackenzie warned the minerals resource rent tax (MRRT) remained a “massive” disincentive to investment flows into Australia.
The MRRT will survive until August 26 at the least after Labor, the Greens and crossbench senators, including from the Palmer United Party (PUP), blocked its repeal last week.
National Australia Bank and Woodside chairman Michael Chaney, speaking at the same business function as Mr Walsh, said political opportunists had been able to hijack the recent budget reform process.
“This budget was not a very severe budget,” he said.
“Once the budget cuts were announced various groups got up in arms.
“Political opportunists, whether it’s (Clive) Palmer or the opposition, got on the bandwagon and cry disaster.”
Compromises reached on several budget measures had not been good for the economy, he said, before criticising the lack of bipartisan action in Canberra.
“Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be possible to get that sort of consensus today,” Mr Chaney said.
Courtesy of The West Australian
23 July 2014