Revenue plan ‘fraught with hypocrisy’
Brendon Grylls is a political player, and with the Coalition looking weaker by the day, he needs another big idea to set his party aside from the crumbling Liberal National Government.
But his return to leadership has been so fraught with hypocrisy and misinformation he’ll have a problem actually delivering anything after the election.
In the weeks since his new revenue-raising announcement, it has become abundantly clear Mr Grylls has no idea how to actually implement this policy.
Rentals of 25¢ per tonne, which admittedly are antiquated, are not simply lower tax measures contained in State Agreement Acts with the big two producers; they exist in the mining regulations (28A. Additional rent for mining lease producing iron ore) introduced in 1996 for every iron ore producer, debunking the first of Mr Grylls’ claims it only applies to “the big two”.
On top of that rental, there is already a royalty rate of 7.5 percent paid by all iron ore miners which equates to almost $4 per tonne at the current price.
To apply such a discriminatory increase to only two iron ore producers is very dangerous territory, given there are others in the same boat, including Fortescue Metals Group and Roy Hill.
Furthermore, State Agreement Acts are a contract in law and can only be amended through negotiation by both parties. It is impossible for the State, therefore, to take unilateral action in the manner suggested.
Regardless of how many times it’s sugar-coated, the discriminatory methodology Mr Grylls is proposing absolutely represents a sovereign risk to the State.
Pragmatics aside, the National Party has supported every single State Agreement Act, while the Greens have consistently opposed State Agreement Acts because they provide an unfair playing field in the mining sector and are deemed to be anti-competitive in many cases.
Greens MLC Robin Chapple.