Min­ers and Na­tion­als in ore tax war

Pilbara News - - News - Dy­lan Ca­porn

Aus­tralia’s min­ing in­dus­try has de­clared war on WA Na­tion­als’ new $5-a-tonne iron ore tax, de­spite party leader Bren­don Grylls’ doubts about the $19-atonne fig­ure that has been pre­sented.

The Cham­ber of Min­er­als and En­ergy has launched a cam­paign in part­ner­ship with Rio Tinto, BHP Bil­li­ton and the Min­er­als Coun­cil of Aus­tralia, to con­vince vot­ers of the de­struc­tive im­pact of the tax.

Cham­ber chief ex­ec­u­tive Reg Howard-Smith said it was in­cum­bent on the or­gan­i­sa­tion to launch the cam­paign be­fore the March State Elec­tion.

“This is a tax which will place the WA iron ore in­dus­try in an un­com­pet­i­tive po­si­tion,” he said.

“It is an un­com­pet­i­tive pro­posal in times when this is the last thing you need to be do­ing when you need to be en­cour­ag­ing in­vest­ment and en­cour­ag­ing jobs.”

The ad­ver­tise­ments claim the com­pa­nies pay $19 a tonne in taxes and roy­al­ties. It is un­der­stood the $19 fig­ure is a three-year av­er­age for Rio Tinto and BHP Bil­li­ton, in­clud­ing in­come tax, roy­al­ties and lease pay­ments.

The WA Na­tion­als have fo­cused on the iron ore pro­duc­tion fee, with a plan to in­crease the 25¢-a-tonne fee to $5 a tonne.

Mr Grylls ques­tioned the $19a-tonne claim, say­ing he sus­pected most of it was Com­mon­wealth taxes.

“Un­til they have ac­tu­ally bro­ken that num­ber down, it is a bit of an ir­rel­e­vant fig­ure,” he said.

“If the CME want to pub­lish fig­ures for West Aus­tralians to see, they need to break those fig­ures down to make it clear what West Aus­tralians re­ceive, ” he said.

“I ac­cept the min­ers pay taxes but they can af­ford an in­crease to a 25¢ spe­cial lease rental that has never been in­creased.”

This is a tax which will place the WA iron ore in­dus­try in an un­com­pet­i­tive po­si­tion. Reg Howard-Smith

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