Monday, October 31, 2011

A $400 billion investment boom, never mind the taxes

Australia’s investment boom is picking up pace despite economic uncertainty and claims about the impact of the carbon tax and the mining tax.

Today’s Deloitte Access Investment Monitor details a record 935 investment projects planned or underway, each worth $20 million or more. The total value exceeds $894 billion, an increase of 7.5 per cent in the past three months and 16 per cent over the past year.

Leading the way are what Access calls “an unprecedented number of mega projects” - 14 worth more than $10 billion and five of those worth more than $30 billion.

“Large projects are longer term investments – they take longer to construct, and need to be in operation for longer for investors to see a return on capital,” says Access director David Rumbens. “Amid the extreme short term volatility we have seen on share markets and currency markets, a continued focus on the longer term picture by is comforting.”

Mining accounts for around one third of the $406.8 billion of projects underway and almost all of the $487.3 billion in projects planned....

Western Australia and Queensland between the account for half of the investments, led by the $29 billion Chevron Wheatstone LNG project off the Pilbra coast and and the $20 billion Australia Pacific coal seam gas to LNG project linking Roma and Gladstone. Both projects will be subject to the expanded 40 per cent petroleum resource rent tax.

“This is yet more evidence investment in mining continues to boom in full knowledge of the taxes,” said Treasurer Wayne Swan ahead of introducing the mining tax legislation this week.

Access says 34 coal projects are under way or planned, 15 of them worth more than $1 billion. Opposition leader Tony Abbott told parliament last month (SEPT) the carbon tax would close mines in northern Queensland. Access finds ten of the big coal projects planned in Queensland.

Away from mining, investment is weak. The biggest Victorian projects are the $1.2 billion redevelopment of the former Carton and United breweries site and the $1.1 billion redevelopment of the former Royal Children’s hospital. The biggest in NSW is the $2.1 billion South West rail link.

Published in today's Age

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