Rev­enue plan ‘fraught with hypocrisy’

Pilbara News - - Opin­ion - Robin Chap­ple Robin Chap­ple is the Greens Mem­ber for Min­ing and Pas­toral.

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.

Pic­ture: Kel­lie Lewis

Greens MLC Robin Chap­ple.

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