THE mining industry is saturating television networks with a pre-emptive advertising strike in an effort to counter any cash-grab built into the upcoming Federal budget.

The Minerals Council of Australia spent $22 million on a massive public relations campaign against the government in 2010 which helped force the dumping of then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

It also forced a significant shift in policy, as Rudd's Resources Super Profits Tax was moulded into the gentler Minerals Resource Rent Tax.

The MCA is made up of 48 member companies, including the world's largest and wealthiest mining firms.

One political expert believes this year's foray into the political arena would likely have a muted impact on government, because the incumbent has so little support to lose.In the latest advertisement - running under the "Keep Mining Strong" banner - an outback worker stands by his mining ute describing any more taxes on industry as "a really dumb idea"."

Tax mining too heavily, we lose projects, exports and jobs to other mining countries with lower taxes," he says to the camera.

"And Australians everywhere are the losers."

University of Queensland political lecturer Dr Ian Ward said he was not surprised the television spot had "that iconic outback flavour".

"The Minerals Council of Australia has a history of stepping into the public arena to press its own political interests," Dr Ward said.

"Will this current advertisement have an impact?

"It was certainly effective in the context of the 2010 election campaign where there was a reasonable chance the ALP could win.

"In this coming election, the result is almost a foregone conclusion so it's unlikely it poses any particular danger because voters have already deserted them."

MCA public affairs director Ben Mitchell said the advertisement was the industry's way of showing it contributed more than enough to the Australian economy.

"There has been significant coverage of potential new imposts on the mining sector in the public domain," he said.

"Mining pays more than $20 billion in taxes and royalties per year.

"We are paying our way, but it seems that all sides of politics believe there is yet more to be extracted to fund their spending promises."

The MCA would not say what it was spending on the campaign.



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