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Public support for Nationals’ budget plan

For more information, contact Dave Grills Grills (Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region).

The Nationals WA proposal to ensure the State’s largest iron ore exporters Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton pay their fair share is gaining support, according to a ReachTEL poll published by The West Australian this week.

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Dave Grills MLC said the poll, which surveyed more than 1,700 voters, outlined firm support for the policy.

"Support is growing for our plan to tackle the State’s structural deficit and strengthen WA’s economic development by ensuring the big resource companies pay their fair share," Mr Grills said.

"More than 45 per cent of voters agree with our proposal, which will increase the 25c per tonne Special Lease Rental charge set in the 1960s to a more contemporary $5 per tonne.

"I strongly support the mining industry and believe that a healthy sector is one in which the major players pay what is fair and equitable.

"These finite resources are ultimately owned by the West Australians and their diminishing nature needs to be accurately reflected in lease rental charges."

The ReachTEL poll shows 45.4 per cent of voters support the proposal, 31.5 per cent are opposed, and 23.1 per cent are undecided.

Nationals WA Candidate for Kalgoorlie Tony Crook said the ReachTEL polling reflected what they were hearing on the ground.

"We are receiving positive feedback from ordinary people who wonder why certain multi-national corporations are only paying 1960s-era charges," Mr Crook said.

"Families, small businesses, pensioners, prospectors and small miners in the Goldfields certainly feel like they are already paying their fair share, and I believe it’s only reasonable to ask the big mining companies to do the same."

The polling also shows The Nationals’ plan has support among voters of all political persuasions, including Labor voters.

"More than 48 per cent of Labor voters support our proposal, yet Labor leader Mark McGowan continues to rule it out," Mr Crook said.

"Despite the fact the 25c per tonne Special Lease Rental hasn’t been increased or reviewed for 50 years, and despite the fact that BHP and Rio Tinto can afford the increase – Labor seems to believe the status quo is fair and should remain unchanged."

Mr Crook called on the Labor candidate for Kalgoorlie Darren Forster to come clean about his party’s solution to the State’s economic predicament, caused by record low GST returns to WA.

"I look forward to hearing which fees and charges WA Labor intends to increase, and which regional programs will be cut under Labor’s plan for the State’s future," Mr Crook said.

The ReachTEL poll also shows strong support from males (52.1 per cent); and young voters aged 18 to 34 (50.9 per cent).

Mr Crook said The Nationals WA were the only Party with a plan to return the budget to surplus, create new jobs and ensure that resource companies pay their fair share.

"The Nationals WA will increase the 25c per tonne Special Lease Rental to $5 per tonne to reflect the modern economy we all live and work in," he said.

"We believe our plan is fair and will allow us to return the budget to surplus and continue to deliver the infrastructure, services and job creation our State needs.

"By creating a new revenue source for the State, we will be able to consider new policies, including reducing payroll tax, delivering more affordable domestic gas and energy, and creating new jobs by building important infrastructure through asset recycling."

For media enquiries contact Dave Grills MLC on (08) 9071 500 or email dave.grills@mp.wa.gov.au