Bob Brown, the leader of the Australian Greens, recently drew attention to the fact that about four fifth of Australian mining is owned by foreigners, and that consequently much of the profits are exported overseas. He used this as one justification for a mining tax, to be used in upgrading infrastructure such as roads, development of a high-speed train network, etc. A mining tax is also supported by the Labour Party, but opposed by the opposition (Tony Abbott: just another “big new tax”) and the rightwing press.
But one has to be fair, Australians also own mining interests overseras. Extracts from the Sydney Morning Herald July 2-3, 2011:
“Coral sea paradise faces ruin from mining”
“One of Australia’s richest men. Clive Palmer, is buying nickel laterite ore for his Yabulu refinery from an Indonesian company that is defying a ban and mining in Raja Ampat, the world’s most ecologically diverse marine environment”. …. which “undercompensates landowners, has allegedly paid bribes…”…”landowners receive less than 0.3 per cent of estimated revenue…”…”After promising interviews, Queensland Nickel and Yos Hendri, the director of PT ASP and PT ASI, withdrew their offers and declined to answer detailed emailed questions”.