Poll sup­port for Grylls’ tax

Pilbara News - - News - Daniel Emer­son

Bren­don Grylls’ rad­i­cal elec­tion pol­icy of hit­ting BHP Bil­li­ton and Rio Tinto with a new min­ing tax has al­most 50 per cent more sup­port­ers than de­trac­tors, polling by The West

Aus­tralian re­veals. The sur­vey of more than 1700 West Aus­tralian vot­ers across the State by ReachTEL last week recorded sup­port for the pol­icy at 45.4 per cent, with 31.5 per cent op­posed and 23.1 per cent un­de­cided.

Mr Grylls last month staked his re­turn to the Na­tion­als lead­er­ship and the party’s elec­toral for­tunes next year on an am­bi­tious plan to in­crease the per-tonne pro­duc­tion rental paid by the min­ing gi­ants from 25 cents to $5.

The pol­icy has been crit­i­cised as a job-de­stroy­ing, con­fi­dence-sap­ping sovereign risk by the Na­tion­als’ al­liance part­ners the Lib­eral Party, as well as La­bor and the min­ing lobby.

Mr Grylls ar­gues that in the ab­sence of a firm plan to ad­dress WA’s dis­mal GST share, the State will need a hefty new rev­enue source to avoid big cuts to gov­ern­ment pro­grams or tax­ing “mums, dads and pen­sion­ers” to re­turn the Bud­get to sur­plus.

BHP has warned its em­ploy­ees that the pol­icy puts their jobs at risk.

Rio Tinto has ranked it the com­pany’s num­ber one global risk.

The com­pa­nies’ con­cern is likely to be deep­ened by the poll, which shows par­tic­u­larly big sup­port from males (52.1 per cent) and young vot­ers aged 18 to 34 (50.9 per cent in favour).

La­bor leader Mark McGowan has cat­e­gor­i­cally ruled out sup­port­ing the plan and Premier Colin Bar­nett has re­fused to de­clare the pol­icy a deal-breaker in any fu­ture al­liance with the Na­tion­als.

Mr Grylls said the fig­ures re­flected a strong sen­ti­ment in favour of the ar­gu­ment that “if mums and dads have to pay more, then the min­ing sec­tor should, too”.

Picture: Me­gan Pow­ell

Bren­don Grylls wants to in­crease taxes on big min­ers.

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