Opposition Leader Tony Abbott talks coal at the North Goonyella Mine.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott talks coal at the North Goonyella Mine. Contributed

Tax will prejudice industry's future

NOTHING should be done to prejudice the future of the mining industry in the Bowen Basin, including the introduction of a carbon tax, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said while inspecting the North Goonyella Mine on Saturday.

“This is one of the very large mines here in the Bowen Basin,” Mr Abbott said. “It’s very important for Australia’s economic future that mines like this can continue to grow and expand. Obviously they’ve done extremely well in recent years but we do not want to do anything that prejudices the future of mines like this.

“The trouble with the carbon tax is that it is an added cost on Australian mines that won’t be faced by overseas mines with which our mines are in fierce competition.

“You take a mine like this and the cost of a carbon tax probably starts at about $20m a year and it just goes up and up and up.

“Now, at the moment, coal is in the middle of an unprecedented boom, but it isn’t always going to be boom times for coal and when normal market conditions resume, a carbon tax here is all the difference between new investment in Australia, continued industry in Australia and new investment and a continued and growing industry in other countries.

“The truth is you cannot run a modern economy without base load power and by far the cheapest and most efficient form of base load power is coal...”

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