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Australian govt. rethinks new energy taxes

Amid rising opposition, Australia’s government led by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is considering revising its profits tax on the country’s extractive industries.

Rudd’s government proposed a 40 percent tax for different minerals, including the country’s surging coal-seam gas industry, The Australian reported Wednesday.

Lacking broad political support, Rudd’s administration moved to garner support among disaffected Labor colleagues in Canberra as his administration began to shift its position toward negotiating a separate deal with the coal-seam gas industry, heavily involved in developing a massive new industry in Queensland.

Rudd’s administration’s new approach includes recognizing that offshore and onshore gas fields should be subjected to the same tax rate as high-value minerals.

Resources Minister Martin Ferguson said that when it came to the tax “one size doesn’t necessarily fit all. Those companies, both big and small, who have seriously engaged in discussions with the tax consultation committee and with the prime minister, the treasurer and me over the last week and a half. Right across my portfolio, be they in mining, petroleum, coal-seam methane or oil and gas, those companies have acknowledged that this is a serious and genuine process of consultation.”

(Source: UPI)