The mining industry has taken out a pre-budget advertising campaign against the Gillard government to strike out against potential tax rises in the resources sector.
The industry launched national newspaper advertisements on Friday saying it has paid its fair share of tax and is not a bottomless pit for continual tax increases, The Australian reports.
The declaration by the Minerals Council of Australia comes ahead of the May budget and as BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers warned there had been very appreciable cost increases at BHP's Australian operations, with raw material prices and the dollar rising as productivity fell.
The resumption of the Minerals Council of Australia's Keep Mining Strong campaign breaks the truce negotiated with miners by Julia Gillard in mid-2010 after she ousted Kevin Rudd.
The advertisements say Australian mining is paying 500 per cent more in taxes and royalties than 10 years ago and will soon have to pay the new mining and carbon taxes and an extra 6.2c a litre for diesel under the carbon tax package.
The advertisements warn that there is a point where the rush to increase taxes, royalties and charges risks making Australian mining weaker, less competitive and less able to make the important contribution everyone wants for the long term.
The advertisements appeared as state premiers prepared to meet the Prime Minister at the Council of Australian Governments meeting in Canberra on Friday, and come as Wayne Swan eyes new revenue measures in next month's budget aimed at the mining sector.
The mining industry is concerned that next month's budget will target the $1.3 billion in concessions claimed by the mining and transport sectors in accelerated depreciation, and look at changes to research and development tax breaks.
Mining industry sources have warned that changes to the accelerated depreciation allowance would jeopardise some resources investments.