Julia Gillard has rejected calls to reinstate the original 40% tax on mining companies, despite a record $10.6 billion half-year profit posted by BHP Billiton.
The resources company’s huge surplus prompted the Greens to push the federal government to raise its 30% tax rate, with party leader Bob Brown claiming big mining firms will “take $60bn out of Australian taxpayers’ pockets as they gouge profits out of Australian soil and ship it offshore”.
However, Gillard has ruled out any switch back to Kevin Rudd’s 40% tax.
Government seeks illegal workers crackdown
Businesses employing illegal foreign workers look set to come under greater scrutiny after an intervention by the federal workplace relations minister.
Chris Evans sought a meeting with Fair Work Australia and the building watchdog on the issue of illegal workers, claiming he was alarmed by recent reports of companies exploiting foreign employees.
Google launches new payment system
Google has taken aim at Apple with a new payment system which allows users to subscribe to online content for a 10% commission fee.
The move is set to ramp up the competition between the search giant and Apple, which has been criticised for taking a 30% cut from the sale price of online content.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 36.14 points to 12,262.78. The Australian dollar rose above parity again, to 100.04 US cents.