The Nationals have put an end to Labor’s vendetta against WA’s gold sector by disallowing the McGowan Government’s royalty hike in the State Parliament.
The Nationals today moved a motion in the Legislative Council which would see the 50 per cent increase to the gold royalty rate defeated.
Ms Davies said the McGowan Government’s 2017 Budget was the “ultimate con job”, littered with abandoned promises and no reduction in debt.
“Labor went to the election promising not to increase taxes, promising not to increase fees and charges and promising to keep Royalties for Regions,” Ms Davies said. “But as soon as it won power all Labor’s promises were discarded and replaced with tax hikes, royalty increases and soaring household bills.”
Ms Davies said Labor was totally aware of the state of WA’s finances before the election yet still made $5 billion worth of promises – most of which were tied up in Metronet.
“The Government say they’re making the tough decisions to reduce debt, but this is simply not true,” she said. “The $392 million Labor planned to gouge from the gold industry – putting regional jobs and future investment at risk – was to pay for their extravagant election promises.”
The Nationals have an unmatched track record of backing the gold industry and were the first Party to declare support for the sector in the wake of Labor’s cash grab.
“Our team stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the industry in 2014 to protect the gold sector and we have done so again in 2017,” Ms Davies said.
“The Nationals championed and introduced the Exploration Incentive Scheme while in Government and revitalised the towns and regions in which the sector operates – investing Royalties for Regions to make them great places to live and invest.”
Ms Davies said The Nationals could not be labelled “budget wreckers” because the Party had proposed an alternative revenue source that would generate more for the bottom line of the State Budget with less impact on jobs and future investment.
“BHP and Rio under their legacy State Agreements have paid the same 25c rental fee for more than 50 years,” Ms Davies said.
“These are the types of anomalies within State Agreements that Western Australia just can’t afford to ignore anymore.
“The Nationals WA have urged the McGowan Government to reconsider iron ore’s ‘sacred cow’ status and engage BHP and Rio Tinto about helping the Budget get back on track.”
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