The Nationals WA have again put the McGowan Government’s gold royalty hike to the sword, saving thousands of jobs in regional Western Australia.
For the second time in seven weeks, The Nationals four upper house MPs voted to kill off Labor’s proposed increase to the gold royalty rate in the Legislative Council.
Leader Mia Davies said the McGowan Government’s standing in the gold industry had been tarnished by Treasurer Ben Wyatt’s unrelenting attack on the sector.
“The Treasurer has twice now tried to introduce a gold royalty hike without a skerrick of consultation with industry,” Ms Davies said.
“Let’s not forget this is the same Government which before the election promised no new taxes for West Australians. The same Premier who just three years ago said a gold royalty increase would cost jobs.
“The gold industry and the wider public can no longer trust a word this Government says. They are sneaky, they are dishonest and they are out to harm regional Western Australia.”
Member for Mining and Pastoral Jacqui Boydell said The Nationals’ commitment to the gold sector never wavered.
“The Nationals have now killed off three attempts to increase the gold royalty rate, including a proposal during our time as an alliance partner in Government,” Ms Boydell said.
“Each time the gold industry has been able to rely on The Nationals to back them in. We will continue to be a strong advocate for the gold industry and protect the jobs of the sector’s tens of thousands of direct and indirect employees.”
Ms Davies said gold miners had considerably smaller margins than the iron ore sector and if the Premier was serious about budget repair he would sit down with BHP and Rio Tinto.
“Instead of relentlessly targeting the gold sector, the Premier needs to grow a backbone and engage two companies which are playing by different rules,” Ms Davies said.
“BHP and Rio are cashing in on half-century old State Agreements which no longer reflect modern day economic practices or realty.
“It’s time to open up the legacy iron ore State Agreements and ensure Western Australia is getting our fair share for our iron ore.”