Strategic Futurists; Value Systems Specialists


Another side to the Super tax on Mining

Tuesday 8 June 2010

The 'Supertax' debate is an interesting one and as expected, both parties are heavily invested in their own outcomes. One thing the Mining Companies understand is that the tax will lower the size of their profits in boom times for the resources sector - they'll still be raking in billions, its just that some of the cream will be removed. And one thing most mining companies anticipate for the near term future, is a return back to the really big BOOM times. That's why they are fighting this idea so hard because if they thought things were going to turn poorly, they'd be urging the Government to act because they'd want the benefits of paying less tax in the not so good times (which they're saying little about at the minute). The Government also seems to be fighting this idea with limited perspective -

threats of job losses by the Mining Industry is NOT the doom for the Australian economy they'd like us to believe - in fact it could well be the opposite.  As we've already seen when the mining industry quickly shed its part time workforce in the thousands at the first hint of a possible global recession, what other industry sectors gained was raft of workers suddenly available to pick up the delays in projects.  When the Mining sector dumped its part time workforce all of those construction workers, bricklayers, plumbers, truckdrivers and a whole heap of 'real' workforce labour became available elsewhere.  People who'd been waiting for months to get a new pergola or garage built, new factory completed or repairs to the manufacturing machinery finally had the workers available to do so, as those skilled labour personnel were forced by the Mining sector workforce shedding, to return to their previous areas of skill.

And this is where the Government seems to be missing the point.  Delaying Mining projects will turn out to be a very good thing elsewhere in the Australian economy.  The influx of available carpenters and bricklayers will see a more competitive environment for construction and renovations.  More truck drivers will speed the delivery of goods and services and so on lowering the pressure on wages in those sectors as more skilled personnel return.  Quite simply, any delay by the Mining sector in starting projects will be welcomed by other industries who really could do with a boost in the number of skilled workers.  Rather than worry or buy into the Miners Mythology, other industry sectors should be shouting loudly: 'bring it on!'

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