Member for Central Wheatbelt Mia Davies MLA has said the new campaign launched by the Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME) railing against The Nationals mining charge proposal is deceptive and misleading.
In recent days the CME have flooded television and social media with advertising directed at The Nationals and their plan to increase an outdated mining charge, requiring multinational companies Rio Tinto and BHP to pay their fair share.
Ms Davies said it was clear the lobby group cared more about company profits than the interests of the West Australian people who own the resources.
“Despite what the CME say, we are not proposing to change the royalties charged, or taxes,” Ms Davies said.
“We are proposing to increase a Special Lease Rental charge that was set at 25 cents per tonne of iron ore back in the 1960s and increase that to $5 per tonne.”
Ms Davies said any claim this increase would cost jobs was ridiculous and rejected the scaremongering of BHP and Rio Tinto.
“In 2015 the CEO of Rio Tinto was boasting that the company was ‘thriving’ with iron ore prices at $38 per tonne,” she said.
“If they were thriving at a low of $38 then they aren’t shedding jobs or shutting down with current prices of around $70 per tonne.
“Both Rio Tinto and BHP have made a 50 per cent average return on capital over the past 10 years, they can most certainly afford an increase in this charge.”
She said most people felt the increase in the charge was only fair given every other household or business had experienced increased fees and charges over the last 50 years.
Member for the Agricultural Region Hon Martin Aldridge MLC said The Nationals WA weren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and take up the necessary policy fight for WA.
“This policy is not attacking success nor is it tall poppy syndrome, it’s about looking at our economy and identifying the best possible source of revenue to ensure we can continue to deliver the level of services West Australians deserve,” Mr Aldridge said.
“Unlike our opponents, The Nationals WA won’t outsource the policy decisions of WA’s mining sector to the miners. We know our policy is fair and we won’t retreat a single step as we prosecute the policy to March 2017.”
To download The Nationals WA mining policy discussion paper please visit: www.nationalswa.com.
For media enquiries please contact Mia Davies on 08 9041 1702 (Merredin office), 08 9622 2871 (Northam office) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.