With the Federal Election a long way from decided and the auction has commenced in earnest. In an unnecessary rebuff to incoming WA MP Crook a WA Nationals member who has vowed to work as an independent in federal parliament, Julia Gillard has signalled that her deal with big end of town miners Rio, BHP Billiton and Xstrata is cast in concrete and not up for negotiation.But in an olive branch to the other independents the Prime Minister has signalled that all the election commitments she made to the people are negotiable. Its a clear indication of where Prime Minister Julia Gillards priorities are. Xstrata, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto certainly have her undivided attention to the extent that the Prime Minister is not prepared to reveal the full extent of her deal with them to the public – or even other lesser miners such as the publicly listed Fortescue, who must make financial decisions going forward without access to the full deck of cards as far as the mining super-tax is concerned.

For what its worth, we consider the mining super-tax to be grossly unfair for two reasons. Its effective date exempts the bulk of Xstrata – BHP Billiton – Rio Tinto operations from paying the tax, yet these companies have enjoyed long periods of huge profits, while the comparatively new projects of the “lesser miners” which will have to pay, are virtually greenfields. As we shift our focus more broadly its apparent that there are other businesses operating in Australia which also generate indecent super profits.Leading those are banksand other financial institutions, with Commonwealth recently reporting a 6 billion dollar profit.

Prime Minister Gillard could appease the WA member very easily by dropping the mining tax (on the condition that WA Govt removes its mining taxes) then apply a fairer broad spectrum super profits tax which applyies to all businesses. She could win Windsors approval by linking this tax to improving the Murray Darling water supply,even if this means buying water-hog Cubby Station (which I’d prefer to see nationalised without compensation). The Prime Minister could use some of the projected funds to hasten the deployment of NBN Broadband in the bush, a key Oakeshott Katter concern.

Tony Abbott is equally hungry for power and has put all his election promises on the chopping block in a naked grab for power.He has still not told the public what he will do if by some quirk of misfortune he is foisted on us as Prime Minister. Tony Abbott told us in May not to trust anything he says “unless he writes it.” Independent MPs would be well advised to get any commitments he makes carved in stone in front of the full bench of the Supreme Court.

….but what would I know… I’m just a homeless guy.

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