Australian key independents discuss resources tax with mining magnate

16:54, September 02, 2010      

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Two key independent Members of Parliament (MPs) on Thursday met mining magnate Andrew Forrest in Canberra of Australia, as they decide which party to back in a minority government.

Independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott met in Parliament House with Fortescue Ltd chief executive officer Forrest, a vocal opponent of Labor proposed mineral resource rent tax (MRRT).

Independent Rob Oakeshott, who holds balance of power in Parliament, confirmed that he was considering backing the tax after he and another independent Tony Windsor met with Forrest.

But Oakeshott also said it was "too early to call" any outcome on his support for concessions for smaller miners.

"I think there is a lot of sense for government to go back to that document and to then have a big public discussion about genuine tax reform in this country and release responses to recommendations," Oakeshott told The Australian newspaper after the meeting on Thursday.

"In that environment, if there is room to move from state-based royalties to resource rents taxes then I would be backer of that through a sensible process."

Meanwhile, Windsor, Oakeshott and fellow independent Bob Katter remain in Canberra of Australia on Thursday as they attempt to make up their mind about the next government.

Along with independent Andrew Wilkie, they hope they will come to a decision by early next week.



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