Australian PM meets with Fortescue Metals Group boss on mining tax

16:02, June 10, 2010      

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Mining magnate Andrew Forrest said Thursday Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd finally understood the full brunt of the government's proposed resources tax on the Australian economy.

Speaking to reporters after meeting with Rudd in Perth, the Fortescue Metals Group boss said the threat to jobs and the economy was "very real" and the mining industry wasn't bluffing in opposing it.

"I'm grateful to the prime minister for giving me a full and proper hearing, so that he understands clearly, from the horse's mouth, that there is no bluff, no fear campaign - we literally cannot employ at least 30,000 Australians if this tax were to go ahead," Forrest told Australian Associated Press.

Forrest said although no agreement had been reached during their meeting, Rudd was at least now listening to the industry.

"From my perspective, we have much more wood to chop," Forrest said.

Forrest had earlier said he was "certain" there would be a High Court challenge if the 40 percent resources super profits tax became legislation.

West Australian Attorney General Christian Porter has been reportedly considering whether the tax is unconstitutional and could be challenged in the High Court.

"I know for sure there will be a High Court challenge if this stupid theoretical tax were to proceed," Forrest said before his meeting with Rudd.

Early before the meeting, Rudd said he was confident the tax was constitutional.

A recent opinion poll suggested Labor party is in danger of losing seats in Western Australia because of the on-going tax debate.



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