Australia: Quarries ‘should be exempt from super profits tax’

Australia: Quarries ‘should be exempt from super profits tax’
Published: 20 May 2010

Quarry boss Bob Handley has a simple message for Kevin Rudd. “We’re not sitting on a gold mine here, just some sand,” Mr Handley said.

Mr Handley, WA manager at Rocla Quarry Products, said quarries should be exempt from the Federal Government’s proposed new super profits tax after recommendations in the Henry Tax Review to exclude it.

Mr Handley would not reveal Rocla’s bottom line but admitted the company made “super profits” by the Federal Government’s standards, and, as a result, would be liable to pay the tax.

“We’re making a profit, but we’re just making a living here,” he said.

Mr Handley warned that the company would pass on to customers any increase in the cost of producing its concrete sand, filling sand, silica and quartz as a result of the new tax.

This would drive up the cost of materials used in bricklaying, concreting, plastering and tiling.

The warning follows a claim from WA’s biggest developer, Nigel Satterley, that the tax would add about AUD20,000 to the cost of building a house if all products were subject to the levy.

Treasurer Wayne Swan has ridiculed claims the tax would add to building costs, despite ongoing warnings from Cement Concrete Aggregate Australia that homes and infrastructure, such as schools and hospitals, would cost more.