Australia passes contentious mining law

After a controversial struggle with mining corporations which spanned two years, parliament has passed a law imposing a 30 percent tax on coal mine profits.

The tax will affect any company that makes $75m in profits, and with 30 Australian mining companies breaking the barrier, the government believes it will raise somewhere in the region of $10.6bn in its first three years. The levy is also designed to gradually increase employer payments into worker pension funds from 9 to 12 percent in seven years, and generate $6bn of infrastructure funding.

The government was predictably triumphant in parliament upon the bill's successful passage, with Treasurer Wayne Swan proclaiming “this is a historic day for economic reform in Australia,” and Gillard responding to criticism that the reforms will result in “the fruits of the resources boom” being enjoyed broadly, not merely by “the privileged few”.

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