18th May 2010
The proposed mining super tax could possibly cost the Australian people a lot more than the loss of investment and local jobs.
The implementation of such a scheme could quite likely leave the Australian taxpayer open to compensation payments to foreign owned mining companies, under Bilateral Investment Treaties signed with countries such as China.
BITs are used to protect foreign investors from the actions of the other signatory state which could potentially affect the value of their investments. When one considers the involvement of China's Chinalco in our mining sector and the fact that BHP and Rio Tinto are 40% and 70% foreign owned respectively-Australian taxpayers have cause for concern.
Rudd may well be on moral high ground when he declares that Australians have a right to a greater share of our nation's resources, but he might want to consider reclaiming a degree of national sovereignty first and removing us from the myriad of Free Trade Agreements our governments have shackled us to first.