Minerals Council Fires First Shot In Electoral Advertising War

Less tax for miners, more spending cuts from the Government.

The Minerals Council of Australia has fired the first salvo in the election campaign, telling Business Insider Australia today that it’s gearing up for the long haul with its first ad, set to air on all major networks from tonight.

The ad, a 30-second piece to camera from a tough guy purporting to represent the great Aussie miner, aims to put pressure on government not to augment the Federal purse by imposing additional taxes on the mining industry.

A 30-second ad is one thing, but what does it all mean?

Minerals Council director of public affairs, Ben Mitchell, told us today that it’s about sending a message to the government to cut back on capital expenditure projects.

“Effectively we would like to get on with creating jobs, projects and revenue generation. We’re already paying significant tax contributions to the government and there are no grounds for new tax imposts.

Instead of taxing mining, the government needs to look at the budget’s capital expenditure and how it’s outstripping growth. Rather than taxing our sector and others, it should look at [lowering some] spending priorities,” Mitchell says.

While Mitchell wouldn’t be drawn on specific spending cuts the Minerals Council would like to see, he stressed that the mining industry doesn’t want monetary handouts to ease its burden. Instead, the Minerals Council is still looking for what it always does: an easier way to operate competitively (read: cheaply) in Australia.

Australia is becoming an increasingly difficult place to do business. We are a high cost economy and the dollar is affecting all exporters. We need to shift from a mentality of ‘how can we keep carving up the pie’ to ‘how do we grow the pie so that its there for future generations’ to keep mining sustainable,” he adds.

Mining certainly has contributed a great deal to Australia, and if you listen to Nationals Senator, Barnaby Joyce, it has saved the country entirely, telling Australian Mining today that the country would be destitute without the industry:

“Unfortunately when you’ve got the debt the way it is and the Government has to rely on money coming from somewhere, we’ve got to make the books balance for this nation somehow. The cold, hard reality of the economics of this is if we don’t have a mining industry our nation is broke,” Joyce said.

The Minerals Council tells us that it hasn’t made a firm decision on whether or not it will expand its advertising campaign to radio, but it will air the ads on Australia’s major television networks indefinitely from tonight.

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