BRISBANE, Australia, July 9 (Xinhua) -- Australia's Queensland will challenge federal government's mining tax in the High Court, saying it discriminates against the resource-rich state, local media reported on Monday.
The Queensland government announced it would join the legal battle launched by Fortescue Metals Group in June against the tax, arguing that the Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) discriminates between the states and restricts a state's ability to encourage mining.
"We are one of the biggest resources states in Australia along with Western Australia so it's important we protect that and do everything we can to protect that as much as we can," Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
The joint Queensland-Fortescue legal challenge threatens the federal government's plan to deliver a budget surplus in 2013.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Queensland Premier Campbell Newman are scheduled to meet in Queensland's Brisbane on Monday to discuss the mining tax issue.
However, Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan said the Queensland government's challenge was a waste of the state taxpayers' money.
"It appears that the Queensland government is prepared to waste taxpayers' money on a futile challenge that not even the premier of Western Australia would entertain because he knew it would be unsuccessful," he told ABC Radio.