Lib can­di­date calls for mine levy de­bate

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

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.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Pil­bara Lib­eral can­di­date Mark Alchin with wife Me­gan and 11-month-old son Henry.

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