Australian Treasurer urges BHP to come to an agreement with government

15:59, May 19, 2010      

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The Australian federal government on Wednesday announced to hold talks with senior BHP Billiton executives later this week amid continued hostility from the mining heavyweight to the resources super-profits tax.

Treasurer Wayne Swan said that while he never expected BHP to be pleased about paying more tax, he had been "disappointed" with some of the commentary coming from the company's chief, Marius Kloppers.

"But Kloppers and BHP have yet to actually come to the consultation committee. I would urge them to do that," Swan told ABC Radio on Wednesday.

BHP was expected to raise concerns about the tax when it meets with a consultation committee, formed by the government, later this week.

"That's a good thing. I would have expected they would have been to the consultation committee well before now," Swan said.

The government wanted to take a constructive approach to discussions with the mining industry about the proposed 40 percent tax on mining super profits, including BHP.

"But I don't expect a big miner like BHP, which has done so well in recent times, to be excited that it may have to pay a bit more tax," Swan said.

Kloppers has said the super-profits tax would threaten Australia's competitiveness and impact on BHP's future investment strategies.



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