Within the last year alone, there has been a 20% increase in BHP Billiton’s
Western Australian iron ore exports. In spite of this enormous growth,
the company only paid US$29m in minerals resource rent tax (MRRT).
As it stands, the tax is in no way making BHP uncompetitive – its bumper
profits are a testament to that.
While mining companies such as BHP Billiton
are making a motza, we need to be reminded that 83%
of Australian mining operations are foreign owned. The net income
balance – the difference between the profits of Australian investing
overseas, and profits made by foreign companies in Australia – has
suffered as a result of mining companies extracting greater amounts of
Australian mineral wealth for foreign owners.
From 2003 to 2011, the net income balance
reduced from minus
2% to - 6% of Australian GDP. In other words, Australia is being held at gun point by day light robbers.