Thursday, June 10, 2010

Costello would have us eat the miners' dust

Peter Costello is at it again in yesterday's edition of The Age. This time his sweeping arrogance has it that the Government has lost the argument on fairness over the resources tax. An interesting world view this may be, but lacking on any objective measure of the true cost of the mining industry to this country and the world.

Any business enterprise that left out significant costs in its project budget would ordinarily be looked on with scorn by the hoarders and graspers of profit – unless of course, the costs ignored are to the climate and the environment, and to the health of communities affected by mineral extraction. While on economic grounds alone there is a strong case for the tax, we are seeing – with global warming, the US Gulf Coast oil disaster, and the health impacts of coal mining on local communities – just some of the horrendous costs that have escaped any proper public reckoning.

Costello also claims that the mining industry "has withstood a misleading campaign and turned it around". It's true the Government has committed substantial funds to countering the miners' self-interest, which has been relentlessly projected on our screens and the nation's news pages. However, I suggest those who oppose the Government's public interest campaign consider the secret but massive expenditure of the miners' as they try to persuade us to eat their dust.

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