Twiggy could dodge tax for five more years
Billionaire Australian mining tycoon Andrew Forrest boasted on May 3 that he may pay nothing in tax for the first five years of the federal Labor government’s new Mining Resources Rent Tax (MRRT), which comes into effect in July.
Forrest said his company Fortescue Metals would “pay between zero and $50 million of MRRT some time in the next five years” because the company will qualify for big tax exemptions.
The Canberra Times said Fortescue Metals’ pre-tax profits are expected to “exceed $20 billion in the next five years”.
In April, Mining.com put Forrest’s fortune at $5.8 billion. The Australian Financial Review said in June last year that “Forrest has never signed a corporate income tax cheque for any of the listed companies he has run in the past 16 years”.
Clive Palmer: 'I run a small family company'
Queensland mining billionaire Clive Palmer announced this week that he will build an “unsinkable” Titanic II — a replica of the doomed 1912 cruise liner. He also revealed plans to build a new commercial fleet to import nickel into Australia and pledged to run for the Liberal National Party against ALP Treasurer Wayne Swan in the next federal election.
Palmer assured the Herald Sun he would not need to give up his business interests to serve as an MP, saying his was just “a small family company”. Business Review Weekly puts Palmer’s wealth at $5.05 billion.
Liberal leader Tony Abbott said he preferred a more “grassroots candidate” than Palmer. But Liberal legal affairs minister George Brandis told Sky News: “I'm very glad that Mr Palmer is on my side … The more Mr Palmer participates in the political system and brings his peerless business experience to it, the better.”
Billionaires end football war with secret deal
A six-month war between billionaire mining mogul Nathan Tinkler — owner of the Newcastle Jets football team — and Football Federation Australia (FFA) chief and fellow billionaire Frank Lowy ended on May 1. Details of the agreement remain secret.
Tinkler announced in early April that he would break his contract, pull his money out of the Newcastle Jets and hand back the club's licence to the FFA.
About 1000 Newcastle Jets supporters rallied on April 20 to save their club. Public anger at Tinkler’s broken promise likely influenced his May 1 about-face, in which he said he had recommitted to the club.
The Sydney Morning Herald said, “sources have told us that the flaying he's copped in recent weeks has … stunned Tinkler”.