Australian premier Julia Gillard has challenged mining industry bosses, telling them to their face that Australians deserved their share of the nation's resources.
Delivering a forthright speech to the Minerals Council last night, one month out from the introduction of the carbon tax, said she would not budge from implementing Labour's plan to share the benefits of the mining boom.
Her frank challenge to the industry came following opposition leader Tony Abbott telling mining bosses that Gillard had buckled under union pressure to water down a deal to allow foreign labourers to build new mines.
Gillard told her audience that she was aware her stand would hardly be liked by them.
"I know that not all of you in this room are in love with the language of 'spreading the benefits of the boom'," she said. "Australia needs tough leadership and I think you know by now I'm prepared to fight."
However, she said with over $500 billion of investment in the pipeline, there was no better place in the world to invest in than Australia.