Australia counts down to pollution, mining taxes

Australia said Friday the world expects it to do its part to reduce pollution linked to global warming as the nation counts down to controversial new taxes on carbon emissions and mining profits.

Hard-fought levies on corporate pollution and so-called "super profits" of iron ore and coal mining take effect Sunday after years of heated debate and campaigning which cost former prime minister Kevin Rudd his job.

The conservative opposition has warned that key resources industries, whose exports to fast-growing Asia helped Australia dodge recession during the financial crisis, face ruin under the new tax regime.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott has vowed to repeal both the mining and pollution taxes if he wins office in elections due in 2013.

Some 350 entities, many of them power generators and coal miners, will be liable to pay the Aus$23/tonne (US$23.1/tonne) pollution tax in its first year, according to the government's Clean Energy Regulator.

The carbon levy is expected to bring in Aus$4.0 billion in the 2012-13 financial year, increasing the cost of living per household by about Aus$10 per week but funding a raft of compensation measures including tax cuts.

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said the tax was an essential step in transforming Australia's economy.

"We are the highest polluter per person of greenhouse gases among the advanced economies, we're in the top 20 greenhouse gas emitters internationally," he said Friday.

Combet added that Australia's major trading partners, including China and South Korea, were introducing mitigation measures such as emissions trading schemes and "other countries are taking action as well".

"The international community expects Australia to play its fair part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions," he said.

Australia is the world's biggest exporter of the iron ore and coking coal used in steelmaking, and the second-biggest exporter of thermal coal used in power stations.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard described the passage of the tax in November as the result of 37 political inquiries and "years of bitter debate and division" which saw her replace Rudd in a party-room coup.

Also instrumental in Rudd's downfall was an ambitious plan to levy the "super profits" of Australia's booming mining sector at 40 percent, a watered-down version of which will also kick in on Sunday.

Intense lobbying by mining giants including BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata against Rudd's tax saw him axed in favour of Gillard who scaled it back to just the iron ore and coal industries and lowered the rate to 30 percent.

It is expected to bring in net revenues of Aus$3.0 billion in 2012-13.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • EU threatens Thailand with seafood ban over illegal fishing
    EU threatens Thailand with seafood ban over illegal fishing

    BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has given Thailand six months to drastically crack down on illegal and unregulated fishing or face an EU seafood import ban, but has lifted the threat of similar action against South Korea and the Philippines. …

  • Philippines accuses China of turning water cannon on its fishing boats

    Filipino activists denounced China's coast guard on Tuesday for turning water cannon on Philippine fishing boats in disputed waters, near where hundreds of Filipino and American Marines landed on a beach in a mock assault. The presidential palace in Manila said China's coast guard used water cannon on Monday to drive away a group of Filipino fishermen at Scarborough Shoal, damaging some of their wooden boats. …

  • Image of Asia: Training to storm a beach in the Philippines
    Image of Asia: Training to storm a beach in the Philippines

    In this photo by Bullit Marquez, a U.S. Navy amphibious assault vehicle with Philippine and U.S. troops on board storms the beach during a joint exercise at the Naval Education and Training Command center in Zambales province, northwest of Manila. The Zambales shore faces the disputed Scarborough Shoal, where Chinese vessels were reported to have driven away Filipino fishermen with a water cannon and seized some of their catch in early April. Philippine military officials say the maneuvers with …

  • Pinoy team wins global disaster preparedness competition

    The Philippines was one of the big winners at the 2015 Global Innovation Competition last week for a cloud-based information system for disaster. The project, called "Balangay," is the brainchild of cousins Frei Sangil and Paolo Sangil. …

  • How Asia uses Bitcoin in one color-coded map
    How Asia uses Bitcoin in one color-coded map

    Bitcoin is a global phenomenon, but not everyone around the world uses it in the same way. Here in Asia, the way a person from the Philippines uses bitcoin is probably very different from how it’s used in Thailand, and both are very different from the typical user in Taiwan. Despite bitcoin being hailed as …

  • Pacmania sweeps Philippines ahead of Mayweather clash
    Pacmania sweeps Philippines ahead of Mayweather clash

    Manny Pacquiao's face is on shirts, dolls and postage stamps, his life story is playing in movie houses and millions are getting ready to party as the Philippine boxing hero's "fight of the century" nears. Pacmania is sweeping the Southeast Asian nation of 100 million people ahead of the May 2 Las Vegas bout against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather to decide who is the best boxer of their generation. Of course, it's the fight of the century," Manila film producer Lucky Blanco told AFP. …

  • Manila 'cute little submissive' of US: China media
    Manila 'cute little submissive' of US: China media

    The Philippines is nothing more than the "cute little submissive" of the United States, a Chinese tabloid with close ties to the ruling Communist Party said on Tuesday, criticising Manila for military exercises with Washington. The English-language editorial came a day after the Philippines launched giant 10-day war games with the US and Australia, partly aimed as a warning shot to Beijing amid competing claims in the South China Sea, home to vital shipping routes. "Of all the countries …

  • Philippines seeks more military aid from US to counter China
    Philippines seeks more military aid from US to counter China

    The Philippines said Tuesday it would soon ask the United States for more military equipment and training to build its defences, as it faces Chinese "aggressiveness" in disputed waters. As hundreds of Filipino and American Marines simulated an amphibious assault to reclaim territory from invaders during annual war games, military chief General Gregorio Catapang told AFP he was drafting a "wish list" for US aid. Catapang said the Philippines would ask for "equipment and training", when Foreign …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options