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Thursday, January 06, 2011

"Let the sun shine in"-in the fullness of time

Peter Van Onselen in The Australian on 22 December on the continuing mining tax stand off, partly over what this sentence in the heads of agreement between the government and the big miners means:
"All state and territory royalties will be creditable against the resources tax liability."
Van Onselen continues:
The opposition and the media can be absolved of blame for missing (this provision) because we weren't permitted to see the signed agreement until recently. The story behind that process is interesting. In the era of open and transparent government, the Prime Minister's Office repeatedly refused for five months to release the signed agreement publicly. That is, until at a Senate hearing on December 8 a BHP spokesman explicitly told senators the PMO had requested they don't make the document public: 30 minutes later a staffer brought the signed agreement to the hearing for senators to take a look. Caught out, I believe, is the appropriate terminology.

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