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Carbon tax axed, next the MRRT

NATIONAL resource employer group AREEA has welcomed the passing of the carbon tax repeal legislation as the first of several critical measures required to put Australia back on a level playing field with international competitors.

In its third tabling before the Senate last week, the Clean Energy Legislation (Carbon Tax Repeal) Bill 2013 was passed with 39 votes to 32, after successful negotiations with the Palmer United Party.

As a result of PUP negotiations, businesses will be required to pass on all savings from the carbon tax repeal to consumers, with penalties for non-compliance. Additionally, tax concessions for low-income earners will remain.

AREEA chief executive Steve Knott said the repeal of the carbon tax was an important first step toward a more competitive Australian business environment.

“Australia has a strong track record as a leader on important social and environmental issues, however any program to reduce our emissions must be closely calibrated with international efforts to avoid damaging our globally exposed industries and living standards,” he said.

“Repealing the carbon tax removes one of two ideologically driven, flawed taxes imposed by the former government that have added unnecessary costs and risk to investing and doing business in Australia.”

Mr Knott said the next economic reform needed to restore Australia’s global competitiveness should be the repeal of the Minerals Resources Rent Tax (MRRT).

“We need to remove the impediments that stand in the way of further development of our resource industry and secured the associated employment opportunities and economic growth,” he said.

“The repeal of the mining tax must come next on the agenda to ensure further investment in our mining, oil and gas sectors can come to Australian shores.”

Thus far, the mining tax remains in limbo after last week’s Senate sitting, which saw the repeal bill returned to the House of Representatives with amendments that will almost certainly be rejected by the government.

Mr Knott added that the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2014 must also be passed by the Senate to begin a pathway to a more competitive workplace relations system.

“As a nation we need to get back in the business of long-term, sustainable workplace relations reform that will address deeper issues of productivity and competitiveness and bolster our reputation in the international marketplace,” he said.


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