Tax would mostly benefit east coast
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