Minerals Council of Australia CEO Brendan Pearson will today insist that the government keep diesel tax breaks for companies operating in remote locations.
Pearson will appear before a senate committee today to defend the fuel credits scheme that provides tax breaks for the use of diesel in off-road capacities.
He will also reject arguments that miners already receive significant subsidies, and say that any call to scrap the tax break is part of a “thinly disguised anti-mining agenda”.
Diesel is widely used in all segments of the mining industry to fuel generators, heavy machinery and light vehicles, especially in remote locations.
Tax paid on the diesel used in such situations is currently refunded to companies, a scheme that has been in place for about sixty years for industries such as agriculture, manufacturing, health services, construction, as well as arts and recreation.
The fuel tax credit was reduced by six cents a litre as part of the carbon tax to put a price on the carbon content in diesel, which will be replaced if the carbon tax is repealed.
“Every year, the Productivity Commission conducts an exhaustive analysis of industry assistance. In the most recent ... review concluded that budget and tariff assistance to the mining industry was negligible,” Pearson said.
Pearson will tell the inquiry the Commission of Audit is timely because Australia faces a budget repair challenge.
“But equally we need to recognise that the means by which fiscal repair is achieved will have a major bearing on growth, investment and job creation,” Pearson said.