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Editorial comment

Some say that politics is boring – but then there’s Australia. Once the darling of Australian politics, Kevin Rudd was unceremoniously dumped from power by his own Labor Party in a surprise leadership election. Rudd’s popularity had dipped dramatically after failing to pass key environmental legislation and picking a fight with the country’s mining industry over a proposed Resource Super Profits Tax (RSPT) – a fight he appeared to be losing after a concerted media campaign by the miners against the proposed tax.

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His replacement as party leader and prime minister, Julia Gillard, moved quickly to resolve the dispute, striking a deal with the miners that replaces the RSPT with a Mineral Resources Rent Tax (MRRT). This drops the headline rate of tax from 40% to 30% and will apply only to iron ore and coal projects (for further details, see p. 5).

Miners welcomed the deal: in a joint statement BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata said that the MRRT “represents very significant progress towards a minerals taxation regime that satisfies the industry’s core principles”.

Typically, all of this was happening as World Coal was going to press and, as I write, I am conscious that this may not be the end of the story – by the time you read this, circumstances may have changed and I may sound rather out of date. It is one of the risks of this job and of print media in general.

The internet is different: while print media is essentially static, the internet is dynamic, constantly evolving and renewing with events. Responding to this, we successfully launched our new website last year ( and readers can keep up to date with news from the industry by subscribing to our RSS feed. We have also recently expanded our online presence further: readers can now follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Coupling the flexibility and immediacy of online media with our traditional strengths in print provides a good platform to cover the coal industry into the future. So whether you log on, download or simply turn the page, enjoy!