Mining companies are one of the biggest Liberal party donors. Is it sheer coincidence that some of Abbott’s known policies reflect what Gina Rinehart and the big mining companies want?
We are all aware that Abbott has promised to repeal the carbon and mining tax; two taxes that Gina Rinehart (and others in the resource industry) have been publicly opposed to. However, the coincidence between Abbott’s policies and what Gina and the other big companies want, does not end with the repeal of these two taxes.
Gina Rinehart, besides being possibly the richest woman in the world, is also chairperson of a group called ANDEV and ANDEV want their own special economic zone in the north of Australia; an area where most of our mineral wealth is situated. Gina’s father had a similar vision.
On the ANDEV website, under the title “What needs to be done” there is a list and this list is eerily similar to some of the policies and ideas that Abbott has made public:
- Special Economic Zone in the North
- One-stop-shops for regulation (to cut “green-tape”)
- Regional skilled migration visas (457 visas).
Abbott has given indication to a “One-stop-shop” for environmental approvals to cut “green tape” and even used the same terminology that is on the ANDEV website (as have the state LNPs).
Abbott has also indicated that he will consider expanding the 457 visa program and recently the Liberal party blocked a bill that would have ensured that 457 visa workers are only employed as a last resort, when suitably qualified local labour is not available.
Special economic zones (SEZs), while good for wealthy investors-do not offer any benefits for others, due to SEZs avoiding many of the costs of taxation, labour standards, safety and environmental regulations, to which other sectors in the same country must adhere to when doing business.
Another concern with SEZs is the displacement of locals. The host country and the developer require land, and this land is often taken from locals at very low prices. This is a concern, as a large percentage of land in the Northern Territory is Aboriginal owned.
Sadly, it appears that Tony Abbott and the Liberal party are putting the economic concerns of the big mining companies and multi-national oil and gas corporations ahead of our needs and the protection of the environment. If Abbott is elected, do not be surprised if all of the land north of the Tropic of Capricorn is made available to Gina and Co. as a tax free haven that is free from environmental regulation and has a lower standard of employee rights and conditions.
Thanks to The Daily Telegraph Pole Facebook group for this post. The aim of this group is to expose, and provide balance, to the bias and lies being spread by Politicians and the Media.
Update: It is interesting to note how consistent this ‘vision’ is to one of the IPA’s radical ideas to transform Australia:
42 Introduce a special economic zone in the north of Australia including:
a) Lower personal income tax for residents
b) Significantly expanded 457 Visa programs for workers
c) Encourage the construction of dams
The IPA (Institute of Public Affairs) is a free market right wing think tank that is funded by some of Australia’s major companies and is closely aligned to the Liberal Party. It’s members include Rupert Murdoch and yes, Gina Rinehart.
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