The Australian government officially passed the Mineral Resources Rent Tax (MRRT), which adds a 30% tax on mining company profits for coal and iron ore production. It is expected to take effect July 1.

Mining Executive Clive Palmer said Australia’s coal industry is facing a dual attack from both the federal government’s mining tax and an overseas-funded campaign that is bankrolling professional troublemakers such as Queensland Greens leader Drew Hutton. Palmer said the passing of the mining tax was a bitter blow for Australian resource companies who were sold out by Prime Minister Julia Gillard after her sweetheart deal with the big three mining groups BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata.

“The government only engaged the big three mining companies and the Greens and was never willing to consult the entire mining community in its decision making,” Palmer said. “The mining tax is only going to make Australian companies less competitive against foreign-owned opposition and ultimately it will threaten many Australian jobs.”

Palmer said coal mining and exploration companies such as his own Waratah Coal were also under threat from a United States funded anti-coal campaign. He said a leaked document “Stopping the Australian Coal Export Boom” had confirmed fears that local ideologues such as Drew Hutton and Greens leader Bob Brown were collaborating with foreign multinationals to destroy the coal industry.

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