The Nationals have called on the Liberal Party to stop toying with the gold sector and come clean on whether it will vote down the McGowan Government’s royalty hike.
Leader Mia Davies, who attended today’s Kalgoorlie gold rally alongside Hon Jacqui Boydell MLC, said the industry was about to embark on a large campaign which could be avoided if the Liberals made their intentions clear.
“Today I watched a procession of Liberals get up on the back of a truck and tell the gold industry how important they are and how much they care,” Ms Davies said. “Yet what they refused to say was whether they will vote against Mr McGowan’s cash grab.
“The Nationals have been upfront with the gold industry, as have the five members of the crossbench in the Legislative Council. All the gold industry needs now is the assurance of Mike Nahan and the Liberals, yet that doesn’t seem to be forthcoming.
“The Liberals have the power to stop this royalty increase going ahead.”
Ms Davies said the longer the Liberals delayed their decision the more damage would be caused to WA’s gold sector.
“A significant number of jobs are at risk, exploration decisions are being put on hold as we speak and contractors are nervous about future work flow,” Ms Davies said.
“The Labor Government needs to pay for their extravagant election commitments so they’re not going to change their mind. The Liberals need to put their cards on the table.”
Ms Davies said the underlying message at the rally was that the GST distribution system must be fixed or Mr McGowan’s gold slug would just be the tip of the iceberg.
“Although it is regrettable the McGowan Government has chosen to hit the gold sector with a new tax, it is not entirely surprising,” Ms Davies said.
“As much as Labor likes to blame the dire state of the previous government, the Budget is in the position it is because of the debilitating GST system. Cutting spending alone is not going to cure the Budget.
“We need our federal parliamentarians – such as those who were in Kalgoorlie preaching to the gold miners today – to get on with the job we as Western Australians elected them to do and represent the best interests of our State in Canberra.”
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