Martin Ferguson: Government Has Not Reneged On Any Royalty Deal

Resources Minister Martin Ferguson said that the Australian federal government was not responsible for the latest mining tax row.

The three mining giants Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Xstrata should take up the matter with the state governments as per Mr Ferguson.

The minister also confirmed that the federal government was as committed to the deal it had signed before the elections with the mining companies as it was after the elections. He even clarified that the proposed minerals resource rent tax clearly stipulates that state-based mining royalties would be credited back to the states.

He said that the government had not reneged on any royalty deal. The original Super Profits tax saw a full refund of the mining royalties but the MRRT did not. He said that it was made clear to the three companies that the government would recognise royalties at that date and in addition any that were scheduled.

However he added that beyond that date if there was a difficulty in the industry they have to fight that out with the state government and treasurers and not with the Commonwealth Government.

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