Lib candidate calls for mine levy debate
The Pilbara’s Liberal candidate for the 2017 State Election has suggested the main parties should stop stonewalling the Nationals’ $5-atonne levy on big miners so the policy can be debated properly.
Mark Alchin is opposed to the policy, which would slug Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton with an extra $4.75 a tonne on iron ore exports, but said it deserved to go through the proper political process.
“I am very big on having the conversation and I think people are expecting that,” he said. “I hate the fact that just because you are (in opposition) and you bring an idea up, my default position is that you are wrong.
“The easy thing for me would have been to stay out of it and not take up the fight, but you only have one shot in life to stand up.”
Mr Alchin said WA Nationals leader Brendon Grylls had done a lot of good for the Pilbara but the levy was blatantly wrong.
He said Mr Grylls seemed to be using Pilbara jobs to save his own job in creating a point of difference and populist policy for his party.
“The rental revenue hasn’t gone up, which is true, but the royalties agreement is the key area where the State pockets from the sale of ore,” he said.
“When you are claiming companies are taxed 25¢ out of $60, of course everyone is going to say the company should pay more.
“Over time the royalties will increase but that needs to be done in a planned, measured way.”
Mr Alchin said taxing companies more during a downturn made no economic sense.
Pilbara Liberal candidate Mark Alchin with wife Megan and 11-month-old son Henry.