Mark McGowan and the WA Labor Party have rejected The Nationals WA’s plan to return the State Budget to surplus, create new jobs and deliver a new revenue source for the State.
The Nationals WA Member for North West Central Vince Catania said comments made by Mr McGowan over the weekend indicate that WA Labor will maintain the 25c per tonne Special Lease Rental currently being paid by BHP and Rio Tinto.
“Mr McGowan and WA Labor think it’s fair that the 25c per tonne Special Lease Rental paid by BHP and Rio Tinto should never be increased,” Vince 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 thinks the status quo is fair and should remain unchanged.”
Vince said Rio and BHP Billiton were making a significant profit by selling WA owned resources and could afford to pay a fair share to the people of Western Australia.
“BHP President Mike Henry recently stated production costs of iron ore were around US$30 a tonne while they sell it for close to US$60 a tonne.”
Vince said Labor’s decision to back the big miners means their solution to ending State budget debt is clear.
“Labor has a clear strategy. They think mums, dads, pensioners and small business are best placed to balance the budget while BHP and Rio Tinto, who make billions of dollars in profit, should continue to pay the Special Lease Rental at a rate set in the 1960s.”
Vince called on Mark McGowan to come clean about their 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 to fix the State.”
“The Nationals WA are the only Party with a plan to return the budget to surplus, create new jobs and ensure that resource companies pay their fair share,” added Vince.
“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.”