Price slams Grylls’ pro­posed mine tax

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

Bren­don Grylls’ pro­posed min­ing tax has been la­belled lit­tle more than a “thought bub­ble” by Du­rack MHR Melissa Price.

Speak­ing in Par­lia­ment, the Pil­bara’s Fed­eral rep­re­sen­ta­tive said she had re­sisted speak­ing about the WA Na­tion­als leader’s pro­posed $5-per-tonne tax on BHP Bil­li­ton and Rio Tinto as she be­lieved it to be a me­dia stunt.

Ms Price said she had de­cided to talk now as she held con­cerns for residents of the Pil­bara em­ployed by the two min­ers tar­geted by the tax.

“Let’s face it, there have been a num­ber of job losses in the Pil­bara, and peo­ple are con­cerned about their jobs,” she said.

“They see this as just an­other axe hang­ing over their heads.

“Of course, those who know more about these things will tell you that, even if it was pos­si­ble to tax these two large iron ore com­pa­nies, there is no doubt that the tax rev­enue would get caught up in the Grants Com­mis­sion model, and the fact is that WA would not re­ceive this ex­tra rev­enue in any event.”

Ms Price cited an opin­ion piece penned by Cham­ber of Min­er­als and En­ergy WA chief ex­ec­u­tive Reg Howard-Smith claim­ing the tax pro­posal was a ploy to gain votes ahead of the State Elec­tion.

Un­der Mr Grylls’ plan, the 25¢a-tonne “pro­duc­tion rent” on iron ore would be in­creased to $5 for Australia’s two big­gest min­ers, net­ting $7.2 bil­lion for State cof­fers over four years.

While Ms Price, Prime Min­is­ter Malcolm Turn­bull and Re­sources Min­is­ter Matt Cana­van have all slapped down the idea, Deputy Prime Min­is­ter and Fed­eral Na­tion­als leader Barn­aby Joyce has of­fered some sup­port to Mr Grylls.

When ques­tioned on the is­sue, a spokesman for Mr Joyce said he would not run down a pro­posal de­signed to get a bet­ter deal for con­stituents.

WA Pre­mier Colin Bar­nett and Op­po­si­tion Leader Mark McGowan have both come out against Mr Grylls’ plan.

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