Price slams Grylls’ proposed mine tax
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.