Grylls’ mine tax la­belled a ‘nasty sur­prise’

Pilbara News - - News - So­phie Mor­ris

Fed­eral Re­sources Minister Matt Cana­van has slapped down Bren­don Grylls’ pro­posal to in­crease iron ore roy­al­ties, say­ing he had “grave con­cerns” it would cost Aus­tralia in­vest­ment and jobs.

The Queens­land Na­tion­als sen­a­tor an­gered some Lib­er­als last month by fail­ing to de­nounce the pro­posal, touted by Mr Grylls since his re­turn as WA Na­tion­als leader, to in­crease roy­al­ties from 25¢ to $5 a tonne.

Af­ter sep­a­rate meet­ings with in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives and the WA Na­tion­als leader in Perth last week, Sen­a­tor Cana­van ven­tured some tougher crit­i­cism.

“I have grave con­cerns that the pro­posal dam­ages our rep­u­ta­tion as a sta­ble des­ti­na­tion for at­tract­ing in­vest­ment and jobs,” he said.

“You need to curry favour over a long pe­riod of time with in­vestors — nasty sur­prises are not a good idea.

“This is con­sid­ered a nasty sur­prise for the in­dus­try and it’s some­thing we have to be con­cerned about.”

Sen­a­tor Cana­van said the roy­alty rate was ul­ti­mately a mat­ter for WA rather than the Com­mon­wealth.

He praised Mr Grylls’ tenac­ity, com­mend­ing him for ag­i­tat­ing to get WA a bet­ter deal on GST dis­tri­bu­tion.

“Bren­don is a fighter and peo­ple would be wise not to un­der­es­ti­mate his fight­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties,” Sen­a­tor Cana­van said.

Even though Pre­mier Colin Bar­nett has re­jected Mr Grylls’ pro­posal, the tar­geted min­ers Rio Tinto and BHP Bil­li­ton are tak­ing it se­ri­ously and are lob­by­ing to have it with­drawn.

Lib­eral WA sen­a­tor Linda Reynolds said last week she knew that Sen­a­tor Cana­van and his Fed­eral col­leagues un­der­stood the im­por­tance of the re­sources sec­tor and it was a shame the WA Na­tion­als took a dif­fer­ent ap­proach.

“Com­ments that place such an im­por­tant in­dus­try at risk are un­wise at the best of times but par­tic­u­larly now,” she said.

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