A new report says Australians are not seeing enough economic benefits from the country’s once-in-a-century mining boom.
The study commissioned by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union found the share of industry income paid in wages has dropped, while mining company profits have surged over the past 20 years.
It also says record mining industry profits have outstripped growth in taxes and royalties.
CFMEU mining division general secretary, Andrew Vickers, says the economic benefits of the resources boom have been highly concentrated
“Australia as a country and Australians generally haven’t benefited from the mining boom, the unprecedented mining boom we’ve seen over the last ten years,” he said.
“And the alarming thing is just how well companies have done out of it. What tax they haven’t paid compared to what they sprout about themselves paying,” he said.
The CFMEU has called for the mining tax to be changed, but not repealed.
It also wants to a Norwegian-style sovereign wealth fund to be considered to invest the proceeds of the mining boom.
“What the report concludes is that this country ought to have a very long, hard but quick look at what the Norweigans have done and that’s a sovereign wealth fund,” Mr Vickers said.
The study contrasts with a recent report commissioned by the Minerals Council, which said the benefits of the mining boom were trickling down to the community.
The Minerals Council report said the mining industry spent $35 billion on community infrastructure and local suppliers in 2011-12 and paid about $21 billion in taxes and royalties.
According to the report, most of the $35 billion was spent on local contractors and suppliers to service mines.