|Super Profits Tax: Canberra or the States?|
|Written by ACM|
|Tuesday, 01 June 2010|
Ensuring a return to the people from minerals is not Canberra’s business. That is the constitutional position, argues Professor David Flint in this video of ACM’s first briefing on the proposed Resources Super Profits Tax.
Our constitutional system is centred on our Federal constitution, but includes all of those laws, customs and institutions by which the people have agreed to be governed.
The Parliament consists of the representatives of the people. It is their forum, the place where the great legislative and policy proposals concerning our nation must be debated and decided.
Then we come to which polity has jurisdiction and authority over minerals and the other wealth from the ground.
This was to establish a Federal Parliament with limited specified powers. None of those extend to the ownership and control of the minerals and other earth resources in and of the States. The Federal government claims it is acting because the minerals belong to all Australians. Most do, but they are not vested in the Crown in the right of the Commonwealth.
Land grants by the Crown usually but not always reserved the minerals in the land granted to the Crown. This was always the Crown in the right of the relevant Colony, now State.
In further briefings Professor Flint will explain the argument that the tax is a nationalisation and whether this is in breach of the Constitution. He will refer to the nationalisation of private mineral rights in NSW.
He will also explain the argument that this is a tax forbidden by the constitution, and whether it is in breach of Australia’s international obligations.
Super Profits Tax: Massive International Law Claims LikelySuper Profits Tax: Not in a FederationSuper Profits Tax: A Nationalisation Without Compensation?
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