Socialist candidates: ‘Make mining giants pay fair tax’

June 5, 2010
Protest at Rio Tinto's Brisbane office. Photo by Jim McIlroy.

BRISBANE — On June 4, a picket of Rio Tinto Coal offices highlighted opposition to the big mining companies' scare campaign about the federal government's proposed tax on mining "super-profits”.

Socialist Alliance federal election candidates condemned corporate greed and said mining tax revenue should be used to fund renewable energy programs.

Sam Watson, Socialist Alliance Queensland Senate candidate, said: "Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and other mining multinational companies have been ripping off the Australian people for years. It's high time these corporations paid their fair share of the nation's tax burden.

"These mining companies, in addition to getting various tax offsets that reduce their tax rate way below that paid by working people, get billions of dollars of subsidies in fuel concessions, and infrastructure paid out of the public purse.”

Climate activist Ewan Saunders, also the Socialist Alliance candidate for Brisbane, said: “Let’s stand up to corporate greed. Make Rio Tinto and the other mining giants pay fair tax. The funds from a mining super-profit tax should be redirected to fund renewable energy sources.

“Let’s go further. Let’s call the bluff on threats from companies like Rio Tinto and Xstrata, who are threatening to pull out of Australian operations. The government should step in and put these operations into public hands.”

Passing motorists honked in support. The protesters then marched to the Sofitel Hotel, where Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was attending a media lunch.

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