October 10, 2017
Liberals find gold royalty increase will cost too many jobs

The Liberal Opposition will hold Premier Mark McGowan and his Government to account for the promise they made to the people of Western Australia not to increase the gold royalties.

Liberal MPs voted this morning to support a disallowance motion expected to be brought before the Legislative Council to block the royalty increase which will threaten thousands of jobs.

“The McGowan Government did not seek nor receive a mandate to increase gold royalties at the March election,” Dr Nahan said.

“Two years ago Mark McGowan was totally against any increase and threatened to use Labor’s numbers in the Legislative Council to block any increase,” Dr Nahan said.

“Mr McGowan has broken a core election promise and we will hold him to account in the same manner he promised when he was in Opposition.”

Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council Peter Collier confirmed his colleagues in the Upper House would vote with the Nationals and cross benchers to overturn the royalty increase.

“This is a decision that came after serious consideration.,” Mr Collier said.

“However, in this instance my colleagues unanimously decided that both the impact of the proposed increase in royalties and the Premier’s deceit on this matter could not be ignored.”

Dr Nahan said Treasurer Ben Wyatt’s claims that the royalty increase was necessary for budget repair just added to the hypocrisy and deceit of the McGowan Government.

“The public needs to be very clear; this royalty increase is not about budget repair, it is about paying for Labor’s $5 billion in unfunded and unaffordable election promises,” he said.

“It is impossible to talk about repairing the budget when the first budget you bring down in Government increases spending, increases debt and increases deficit.”

Shadow Mines Minister Sean L’Estrange said the party room decided it could not allow the McGowan Government to inflict $100 million a year in additional costs on WA businesses only to send $60 million of it to the Eastern States through the GST system.

“This morning’s meeting heard from a range of members, all of whom had consulted widely with industry and stakeholders groups in the past weeks, on the potential impact of this royalty increase,” Mr L’Estrange said.

“Mr McGowan said two years ago that such an increase would destroy jobs and force mine closures; he was right.

“We have looked at the raw numbers, done the analysis and there is no doubt this increase would cause thousands of jobs to be lost and some mines to become unviable.

“Unlike Mark McGowan, we have taken the time to engage with industry and to understand the damage this gold tax will have on jobs and small businesses.”

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Denice Rice
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