Grylls vows to remain in the Pilbara
Pilbara MLA and newly minted WA Nationals Leader Brendon Grylls has vowed to remain firmly rooted in the region as he steps up to take on additional responsibilities.
Mr Grylls was sworn in as Housing and Racing and Gaming Minister on Monday after taking over from Terry Redman as WA Nationals leader last week.
He said while the additional roles would likely mean less time at home, his family had no intentions of leaving the life they had built in Karratha.
“We have loved our move, we’ve loved the friends we’ve made and the kids love the school they go to,” he said.
The hallmark of Mr Grylls’ takeover bid, a $5 per tonne tax on BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, has come under heavy fire from the two mining giants.
In a letter to staff last week, Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said the tax would have a devastating impact on business. “This discriminatory tax grab places the sustainability of our iron ore business and jobs at serious risk,” he said.
“We have paid our way, paying record royalties of almost $11 billion to the WA Government since 2010.
“This has been on top of our $52 billion spend on local goods and services and community infrastructure and initiatives over the same period.”
Mr Salisbury said Rio Tinto would do everything in its power to oppose the tax.
Mr Grylls said everyone in WA was being asked to dig deeper to help repair the State Budget, and the two mining companies should not be exempt from this.
Having taken over the housing portfolio from Colin Holt, Mr Grylls said he would take keen interest in transitional housing and ensuring local contractors benefited from construction and maintenance of housing projects.
Shadow treasurer Ben Wyatt said Mr Grylls’ gambit showed the Liberal-National Government was spiralling out of control.