According to a news report Australians are not seeing enough economic benefits from the country’s once-in-a-century mining boom.
while mining company profits have surged over the past 20 years the share of industry income paid in wages has dropped according to the study commissioned by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union.
In addition, it says record mining industry profits have outstripped growth in taxes and royalties.
CFMEU mining division general secretary, Andrew Vickers, says the economic benefits of the resources boom have been highly concentrated.
“Australia as a country and Australians generally haven’t benefited from the mining boom, the unprecedented mining boom we’ve seen over the last ten years,” he said.
“And the alarming thing is just how well companies have done out of it. What tax they haven’t paid compared to what they sprout about themselves paying,” he said.
The CFMEU asked for the mining tax to be changed instead of repealing it.
It wants to a Norwegian-style sovereign wealth fund to be considered to invest the proceeds of the mining boom as well.
“What the report concludes is that this country ought to have a very long, hard but quick look at what the Norwegians have done and that’s a sovereign wealth fund,” Mr Vickers said.
The study contrasts with a recent report commissioned by the Minerals Council, which said the benefits of the mining boom were trickling down to the community.
The Minerals Council report said the mining industry spent $35 billion on community infrastructure and local suppliers in 2011-12 and paid about $21 billion in taxes and royalties.
According to the report, most of the $35 billion was spent on local contractors and suppliers to service mines.
The Minerals Council’s Ben Mitchell has rejected the report and says mining companies have made enormous contributions to the country.
“98 per cent of everything we’ve earned out of Australia has been invested back in Australia to keep operations going,” he said.
“Now, that revenue has to come from somewhere; it’s come from Australian operations, even come from overseas operations coming back into Australia so we have invested massively in Australia over the past ten years.”