Wed, May 26, 2010
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S Australian gov't meets with BHP boss on mine tax

2010-05-26 10:23:59 GMT2010-05-26 18:23:59 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

CANBERRA, May 26 (Xinhua) -- South Australian (SA) state premier Mike Rann on Wednesday urged the Australian federal government to change its mining tax after meeting with BHP Billiton chief Marius Kloppers in Adelaide.

Rann said he was happy to meet with Kloppers to discuss the proposed mining tax and is pushing to increase the threshold at which the tax kicks in.

"(I'm) pleased to be acting as an honest broker with the federal government in order to ameliorate the impact on projects in this state," Rann told parliament.

When asked on DMG Radio whether he supported the structure of the super tax, Rann said "no".

"What I've been saying is, lift the threshold - and that's what we've been negotiating."

"My hope is that there will be a sensible negotiated compromise, which will still maintain the 40 percent to come in at a higher threshold."

SA Treasurer Kevin Foley has verified that he and Rann had met with the BHP chief on Wednesday morning.

"We are a consultative government and we'll do all we can to best represent the businesses of this state and the jobs of this state," he told reporters.

Kloppers told The Australian Financial Review last week that investments slated for major projects in Australia could go offshore.

The federal government has announced a new 40 percent tax to be applied to so-called super profits of resources companies, which was expected to reap 12 billion dollars (9.97 billion U.S. dollars) in its first two years of operation.

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