Rio Tinto is cautiously encouraged by the new Australian Prime Minister's invitation to the Australian minerals industry to begin full and open engagement on all aspects of tax reform. While it is a positive first step, the Government needs to end the uncertainty affecting the Australian economy as soon as possible.
From the day the Henry Review was announced two years ago, Rio Tinto has supported genuine tax reform that encourages investment, improves Australia's international competitiveness and maximises jobs growth. Throughout this time the company has remained constructive and cooperative, consistently urging the Government to engage in genuine consultation with the industry to ensure that any tax reform proposals were soundly based.
Rio Tinto has no doubt the Resources Super Profits Tax was flawed policy and that it has already caused damage to Australia's reputation and the national economy. Rio Tinto believes it is fundamental that the negotiation process:
- ensures any tax reform proposal is not applied retrospectively; and
- delivers an effective tax rate that retains Australia's international competitiveness as an investment destination.
As a sign of good faith, Rio Tinto has suspended its national advertising campaign on the mining tax in line with today's request by the Prime Minister. Rio Tinto says this commitment is dependent on the Government's willingness to properly engage on the fundamental principles outlined above.