NEWSFLASH! In September I will join The Conversation as its Business and Economy Editor. I have been honoured to work at The Age for the past ten years, originally alongside the legendry Tim Colebatch, and for the past four years as economics editor in my own right.

At The Conversation, my job will be to make the best thinking from Australia's 40 univerisites accessible to the widest possible audience. That means you. From the new year I will also write a weekly column.

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I'll continue to post great things from The Conversation and other places here, and also on Twitter and Facebook. Enjoy.

Friday, May 07, 2010

"Very few high risk exploration prospects will be capable of proceeding or are likely to proceed"


What they said about the offshore Petroleum Resource Rent Tax in 1987:

NATIONAL PRTY LEADER IAN SINCLAIR, MONDAY, 2 NOVEMBER 1987:

"With a proposed resource rent tax on 40 per cent, very few high risk exploration prospects will be capable of proceeding or are likely to proceed. Indeed, they are likely to be most unattractive.

"The inescapable conclusion to be drawn from the way in which the resource rent tax is structured is that it is a disincentive, that it is not truly profits-based and that it is a tax that will further discourage companies from spending money around Australia-all at a time when there is a need for greater exploration activity and when there is certainly a need for us to be conscious of the economic and employment consequences of failing to encourage exploration in our off-shore areas."


LIBERAL PARTY FRONTBENCHER ALEXANDER DOWNER, MONDAY, 23 MARCH 1987

"The resource rent tax which will be introduced by this Government will only make matters considerably worse because it will impose a new burden upon those people who are prepared to put money up front and to go out and explore for oil. It will put a new burden on the risk takers in the oil industry, apparently because the Government, for reasons of its own, resents and despises these people...

"I think it is an ideological proposal which is going to do very real damage to oil exploration in Australia. It is going to affect our balance of payments situation and it is going to affect the overall state of our economy. If this is to be one of the pieces of legislation which will form the general epitaph of the Government, I think it is highly appropriate. It is an anti-production, anti-development, anti-profit and anti-export tax, and the Government deserves to be condemned for the irrationality of that decision."


NOW ABBOTT'S IN ON IT: "This is a dagger aimed at the heart of Australia's posterity."


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