Australia's Queensland to join mining tax legal challengeComtex News Network
BRISBANE, Australia, Jul 08, 2012 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Australia's Queenslandwill challenge federal government's mining tax in the High Court,saying it discriminates against the resource-rich state, localmedia reported on Monday.
The Queensland government announced it would join the legalbattle launched by Fortescue Metals Group in June against the tax,arguing that the Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) discriminatesbetween the states and restricts a state's ability to encouragemining.
"We are one of the biggest resources states in Australia alongwith Western Australia so it's important we protect that and doeverything we can to protect that as much as we can," QueenslandAttorney-General Jarrod Bleijie told the Australian BroadcastingCorporation (ABC).
The joint Queensland-Fortescue legal challenge threatens thefederal government's plan to deliver a budget surplus in 2013.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Queensland PremierCampbell Newman are scheduled to meet in Queensland's Brisbane onMonday to discuss the mining tax issue.
However, Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan said the Queenslandgovernment's challenge was a waste of the state taxpayers' money.
"It appears that the Queensland government is prepared towaste taxpayers' money on a futile challenge that not even thepremier of Western Australia would entertain because he knew itwould be unsuccessful," he told ABC Radio.