Nationals leader buoyed by forum support for levy stance
WA Nationals Leader Brendon Grylls has been offered some free ammunition to add to his election campaign as the Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA ramps up its attack on the $5-per-tonne iron ore levy proposal.
Mr Grylls hosted public forums in Karratha and Hedland last week to answer questions about the levy and other policy areas.
In Karratha, a largely supportive 30-strong crowd instead offered advice to the local member on how he could go about fighting back against the CME.
“The scare campaign at the moment is that ‘we wont develop another mine, so you’re buggered’,” Mr Grylls said.
“The feedback from a pretty diverse room of Karratha people is what a load of c..p.
“That message I heard tonight about how there is no way they will walk away from a tenement because it would get given to someone else is a really powerful counter.
Mr Grylls was referring to BHP Billiton’s claim the South Flank development would be put at risk due to prohibitive costs should the levy go ahead.
He said the major miners could save money on royalty payments if they beneficiated their ore.
“That downstream processing is something we would like to see in the Pilbara and the companies are obligated to do it under their State agreements,” Mr Grylls said.
The forums are being hosted ahead of the launch of CME WA’s next round of advertising against
the proposed $5 per tonne levy on BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.
Details of the new advertising campaign were outlined in an email sent to members by the CME WA and obtained by The West Australian.
“The second phase of the campaign ... will focus on the impact of the proposed tax on families and small to medium-sized businesses,” CME WA boss Reg HowardSmith wrote.
“CME maintains there is no room for the introduction of a new tax on the WA resources sector.”
Nationals WA leader Brendon Grylls at the What's Down the Track Forum and Exhibition in Kalgoorlie-Boulder.