Tax would mostly ben­e­fit east coast

Pilbara News - - Opinion - Ken Bas­ton Lib­eral Mem­ber for Min­ing and Pas­toral

I would like to as­sure the elec­torate that there is no way I sup­port the Na­tion­als’ pro­posed Min­ing Tax aimed at BHP Bil­li­ton and Rio Tinto.

In the past 11 years, I have been ex­posed to many facets of the WA min­ing in­dus­try in my ca­pac­ity as the Mem­ber for the Min­ing and Pas­toral Re­gion.

The pro­pa­ganda around the Na­tion­als in­ten­tions is very mis­lead­ing.

In the past 10 years, BHP Bil­li­ton has paid $65 bil­lion in taxes and roy­al­ties. One needs to be aware that if the $5 tax was in­tro­duced, a sub­stan­tial amount of this would sim­ply flow to the East­ern States in lost GST rev­enue.

No ben­e­fit to West Aus­tralians at all.

Col­lec­tively, Rio Tinto and BHP Bil­li­ton have a work­force of 28,000 em­ploy­ees and con­trac­tors.

The $5 per tax per tonne would di­rectly af­fect these jobs and the qual­ity of life for fam­i­lies of em­ploy­ees

There are about 100,000 share­hold­ers in WA with di­rect hold­ings in BHP Bil­li­ton alone — the Na­tion­als tax will wipe out the div­i­dend, im­me­di­ately hav­ing an im­pact on the wealth of West Aus­tralians.

To date, both com­pa­nies have left wor­thy lega­cies for WA com­mu­ni­ties through­out the pe­riod of eco­nomic pros­per­ity.

With the sup­port of State Govern­ment, BHP, for ex­am­ple, has in­vested more than $US25 bil­lion in the Pil­bara in the past 10 years with new mines, in­fras­truc­ture, ports, tech­nol­ogy and rail.

With 25 per cent of Rio’s global as­sets housed in WA, the con­tri­bu­tion to the State’s econ­omy has been im­mense.

Don’t be con­vinced that taxing the big play­ers will drive the State bud­get to sur­plus sta­tus.

The con­tri­bu­tions the in­dus­try pro­vides to re­gional com­mu­ni­ties is para­mount.

Ken Bas­ton Pic­ture: Ken Bas­ton

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