The Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME) has been forced to pull an anti-Nationals television advertisement after misrepresenting the Mayor of Busselton, Grant Henley.
Nationals WA Member for the South West Region, Colin Holt MLC, said the misleading advert was part of a multi-million dollar scare campaign by Rio and BHP to avoid modernising out-of-date State Agreements by increasing the 25 cent per tonne Special Lease Rental to $5 per tonne.
Mr Holt said the campaign was a deceitful attempt by the big miners to avoid paying their fair share to the West Australian economy.
‘This year, Rio Tinto and BHPs profits from selling WA’s iron ore will come close to $20 billion dollars, so we reckon they should pay their fair share to help get our state budget back on track’.
‘Charges and fees have risen for every Western Australian household since the 1960s, yet the 25c per tonne Special Lease Rental has not been reviewed or increased for 50 years. No other business or household is still paying a charge at the rate it was set in the 1960s’.
The CME advert featured City of Busselton Mayor Grant Henley, who was pictured in front of the regional airport. The airport has recently received funding of $45.9 million from Royalties for Regions to enable new interstate airline routes.
Mr Henley said he did not know his comments would be used in political advertising and that he had been taken out of context.
‘Rio Tinto’s recent announcement that it would sack 500 workers demonstrates the company’s disregard for the people of WA. Company decisions to send jobs offshore to Singapore and Malaysia and the automation of jobs in the mining industry are the biggest risk to WA jobs’ Mr Holt said.
‘If Rio Tinto was thriving at USD$38/t as the CEO Sam Walsh stated, then profitability is clearly very good given the latest spot price of $74.57/t. It’s time for the big miners to pay their fair share’.
Mr Holt said that the Nationals WA can’t compete with the multi-million dollar advertising budget of the CME, but that people all over Western Australia were supporting the Nationals plan to fix the budget and provide an economic stimulus.
For media enquiries please contact Office of Colin Holt MLC on (08) 9724 1181