Grylls vows to re­main in the Pil­bara

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

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.

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