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Allies’ investment in critical minerals is Australia’s opportunity: Angus Taylor

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Katina CurtisThe West Australian
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Shadow treasurer Angus Taylor says Australia does not need to pour billions of taxpayer dollars into critical minerals because our allies are investing in the industry.
Camera IconShadow treasurer Angus Taylor says Australia does not need to pour billions of taxpayer dollars into critical minerals because our allies are investing in the industry. Credit: Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images

Shadow treasurer Angus Taylor says Australia does not need to pour billions of taxpayer dollars into critical minerals because our allies are investing in the industry.

The Coalition opposes the production tax credits for processed critical minerals and green hydrogen, which formed the centrepiece of the Government’s Future Made in Australia package.

The sector and investors have welcomed the tax breaks as a long-awaited response to America’s Inflation Reduction Act, which subsidises and incentivises green technologies.

PETER DUTTON ADELAIDE
Camera IconBut Opposition Leader Peter Dutton labelled them a handout for billionaires and vowed multiple times in his Budget reply speech to oppose them. Credit: Ben Clark/News Corp Australia

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But Opposition Leader Peter Dutton labelled them a handout for billionaires and vowed multiple times in his Budget reply speech to oppose them.

“Maybe billionaires who are copping all sorts of support through different programs in the mining sector – maybe they’re happier,” he said on Tuesday.

Mr Taylor will use a post-Budget address to the National Press Club on Wednesday to say the Government is taking the wrong approach to critical minerals by viewing foreign appetite for the resources needed for batteries, solar panels, wind turbines and other green energy technologies as a threat, not an opportunity.

He points to assessments from economists that the Inflation Reduction Act offered opportunities for Australia.

“The reality is many of the countries throwing the most taxpayer support at critical mineral supply chains are our closest allies,” Mr Taylor will say, according to draft excerpts of his speech.

“The Quad, Five Eyes, and AUKUS offer opportunities for Australia’s resources industry to be a critical enabler of supply chain sovereignty for our allies.

While the Coalition will oppose the manufacturing tax breaks, Mr Taylor is set to promise it will pass elements of the Budget that streamline regulation.
Camera IconWhile the Coalition will oppose the manufacturing tax breaks, Mr Taylor is set to promise it will pass elements of the Budget that streamline regulation. Credit: MICK TSIKAS/AAPIMAGE

“We will explore reforms to streamline our foreign investment rules further and capitalise on trade agreements with our most trusted allies to support our resources industry and develop this industry.”

While the Coalition will oppose the manufacturing tax breaks, Mr Taylor is set to promise it will pass elements of the Budget that streamline regulation.

These include a “front door” for foreign investors, simpler foreign investment approvals, a financial services regulatory grid and a new regulatory regime for digital assets.

Mr Taylor will reiterate the Coalition’s “back to basics” approach to boosting manufacturing, which includes further deregulation, changes to industrial relations laws, and “incentive-based taxes.”

“Securing long-term, cheap, clean power by opening the door to zero emissions nuclear energy is an essential part of this project,” he says.

“Robert Menzies recognised the need for the original Snowy Hydro scheme for Australia to be competitive in the last industrial race.

“Today, we need more energy, not less – if we are to secure the future capability of our manufacturing industry. Data centres, AI and robotics all require reliable, baseload energy.”

The Government has dismissed the Coalition’s plans, saying the Opposition is yet to fully cost its main policies or explain where it would cut spending to pay for them.

QUESTION TIME
Camera IconTreasurer Jim Chalmers said there was a $45 billion black hole in Mr Dutton’s budget reply if he is to reinstate the stage 3 tax cuts for top earners. Credit: Martin Ollman/News Corp Australia

Treasurer Jim Chalmers said there was a $45 billion black hole in Mr Dutton’s budget reply if he is to reinstate the stage 3 tax cuts for top earners, permanently extend the instant assets write-off for small businesses, double the pensioner work bonus, give incentives to junior doctors and repeat the tax on high-balance superannuation earnings.

“Spending tens of billions of dollars more while calling for a slash-and-burn budget shows why the Coalition have no credibility and can’t be trusted to run the economy,” he said.

“After two years in opposition, it’s time for Angus Taylor to explain what vital services the Coalition wants to cut finally.”

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