Monday, June 07, 2010

Nothing's As Precious As A Hole In The Ground

How many other lies, or 'exaggerations', have flowed from the mega-funded corporate and political opposition to the new mining tax, led by the federal Liberals and the richest of Australia's miners?

Mining magnate Clive Palmer has retreated from his earlier claim that he had scrapped mining projects because of the Federal Government's proposed resource super profits tax.

Mr Palmer owns one of the largest deposits of iron ore in the world, carved out in five separate projects.

The investment for the first development was secured before the super profits tax was announced

Mr Palmer, a Liberal National Party donor, told Lateline last month he had canned two projects in Western Australia's Pilbara region because of the tax.

He said one of those projects would employ about 3,000 people and generate about $2 billion a year in exports.

This 'exaggeration' - the new mining tax will result in the loss of thousands of jobs - became the Big Fear headline and commentary rallying point, promoted by a media drooling over more than $100 million in unexpected mining industry advertising, with another $38 million or so from the federal government for their ad blitz.

Clive Palmer has now told Four Corners, in a report on the new mining industry tax :
"Probably, it should have been, '[I am] slowing them down, waiting to see what happens'," he said.
The Four Corners report and transcript is here

Some recent classic Clive Palmer channeling Fox News' Glenn Beck at his most idiotic, from his National Press Club debate with the AWU's Paul Howes :
"Do you really believe in the late 1800s Paddy Hannan would have walked 600 miles in the hot sun from Perth to Kalgoorlie to discover gold if he had to pay the Wayne Swan resource super tax?"

"I've talked to banks in Hong Kong and New York recently....They think that the tax is an outrageous proposition to nationalise our industries."

"...people like me don't want to pay the workers any more unless we have to. We're the baddies of the debate."

"Okay. We need to return to parliamentary democracy. This tax will rob our children of their future. Thank you."

"Federal Government is destroying state rights, destroying jobs, attacking the constitution."
"Perceptions wise, this means 70% (tax)"
"Resources do not belong to the Australian people."
They clearly belong to Palmer, who only has three corporate jets.

And Clive Palmer, again, declaring the new mining tax will result in the cancellation of Christmas :
"Mums and dads all over Australia will become unemployed," he said. "They won't have the money to buy their Christmas presents for their kids. They will be out on the street."
Having publicly blown the Santa Claus fantasy for all children, it appears most of the rest of Australia's mining industry elite are not too happy about Clive and his flappy mouth. According to this story :
At high-level talks in recent weeks, the biggest names in Australian mining - Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, Fortescue Metals Group and Xstrata - belatedly realised that Palmer's eccentric public utterances were harming the cause.
Special agent Barnaby Joyce was sent in to try and quiet Palmer :

Joyce is said to have reported back: "I can't stop him - he's his own man."

Yesterday, Joyce would not be drawn on "private conversations", but did admit that some may see Palmer as "distracting from key messages".

Something Barnaby happens to know quite a lot about.