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this may not be the end of the story – by the time you read this, circumstances may have changed and I may sound rather out of date.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 (www.energyglobal.com) 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!