The end of the story is neat and tidy: Rudd, the former Australian Prime Minister is out and a new lady is in. Rudd was outed (or is it ousted) in part by his bungled attempt to foist a 40% tax on Australia’s mining industry. For the mining industry and shareholders thereof, this is good news. Australians, it seems, believe it is good news. For the communities to whom Rudd said he would provide more money from the tax income, this may well be bad news.
The challenge now for the Australian mining industry is to work with the new government to craft a reasonable tax that helps fulfill their commitment to sustainable development—i.e., provide money to local communities so they are not afflicted by the Dutch Disease and at the same time make enough money to justify the enormous investments needed to bring new mines on line. In this case, the world is watching. Not least because leaders from Canada to Nigeria do not want to loose power, yet need to keep voters happy and budgets balanced. And to do that they need to tax to balance the willingness of investors to seek to open new mines, the promises of sustainable development, and the desire of the voters for balanced budgets (or at least avoidance of additional taxes to balance bloated budgets and expenditure.)
In practice, it will be interesting to watch this Australian tax-soap-opera play out and to see how the voters of Arizona act to balance their state budget. For a little more mining and a little more tax on mining in Arizona could balance the budget, or at least pay to open the currently closed road-side toilets that dot the state. Maybe the mining industry could garner public goodwill by sponsoring rest stops across the state? To what levels have we sunk?