In April this year, the mining industry began another advertising campaign in national newspapers, claiming the minerals and resources sector had paid its fair share of tax and was not a “bottomless pit” for continual increases.
Meanwhile, the government has been doing its own campaigning. In March, the deputy prime minister, Wayne Swan, argued in the influential magazine the Monthly that vested interests were trying to “shape Australia’s future to satisfy their own self-interest”. “Australia’s fair go is today under threat from a new source,” Swan wrote, singling out Rinehart, Palmer and Forrest by name. “To be blunt, the rising power of vested interests is undermining our equality and threatening our democracy.”