The Nationals remain committed to protecting jobs in the gold sector and will oppose the McGowan Government’s latest attempt to slap a new tax on the industry.
Nationals Leader Mia Davies said the party’s position on Labor’s obsession to increase the gold royalty rate had not changed.
“The revenue raised does nothing to address debt or the budget situation,” Ms Davies said.
“The gold royalty hike has simply been concocted to pay for Labor’s election commitments, the lion’s share of which are in Perth.”
Ms Davies said with the parliamentary sitting year coming to an end, the timing of a royalty hike coming back on the agenda had raised suspicion.
“The Government is now trying to subvert a decision of the Parliament by introducing the regulation after the House rises for the year,” Ms Davies said. “This is a tricky, dishonest government which is seeking to escape the scrutiny and will of the Parliament.”
The McGowan Government’s contempt for the Western Australian public was further laid bare today as four ministers were absent from Parliament and avoided Opposition scrutiny.
The absent Ministers, comprising almost a quarter of the Labor Cabinet, are responsible for a dozen portfolios and missed Parliament despite the Government setting the sitting calendar many months in advance.
The Premier and the Minister for Mines and Petroleum were in China as The Nationals quizzed the Government over its latest attempt to slap a new tax on the gold industry.
“The Deputy Premier, who was acting for the Mines Minister, was unable to answer questions about the Government’s plan to reintroduced the gold royalty rate increase,” Ms Davies said.
The Nationals Member for Mining and Pastoral Jacqui Boydell said the arrogance of the Premier to schedule an international trip during a sitting week showed his utter contempt for the Parliament and the people it represented.
“Thousands of people’s livelihoods in my electorate are dependent on the gold sector and they deserve to know what the Government is up to,” Ms Boydell said.
“If the Premier was genuine about implementing meaningful budget repair he would engage with the iron ore industry, which can afford to pay more to get the books back in order.
“As it stands the Premier is attacking the gold sector along with the back pockets of mums and dads, pensioners and small businesses so he can deliver his election promises.”
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