Grylls min­ing tax would have detri­men­tal ef­fect

Pilbara News - - Opinion - Reg Howard-Smith Chief Ex­ec­u­tive, Chamber of Min­er­als and En­ergy

With re­gard to let­ters pub­lished in your Fe­bru­ary 22 edi­tion, a cou­ple of points must be made to set the record straight.

Firstly, the min­ing tax as pro­posed by Bren­don Grylls and his WA Na­tion­als has been in­de­pen­dently as­sessed by eco­nomic ex­perts who have also done work for WA’s State Gov­ern­ment.

This anal­y­sis found the scheme would have a detri­men­tal im­pact on the iron ore in­dus­try in WA and cost 3400 jobs in WA — al­most 3000 of those in the Pil­bara.

The tax will also make WA more un­com­pet­i­tive against its in­ter­na­tional ri­vals such as Brazil and lead to WA’s al­ready poor share of GST re­turn get­ting even worse — a point con­ceded yet ig­nored by Bren­don Grylls. Ar­gu­ments that this won’t be af­fected are just plain in­cor­rect.

Se­condly, the WA Na­tion­als have cre­ated a per­cep­tion that the iron ore min­ers be­ing tar­geted only pay 25 cents per tonne for iron ore.

The re­al­ity is very dif­fer­ent, with BHP and Rio Tinto pay­ing, on av­er­age, $19 per tonne in roy­al­ties, taxes fees and charges.

Of­fi­cial Aus­tralian Tax Of­fice fig­ures show that last fi­nan­cial year, be­tween them both, BHP and Rio Tinto paid al­most $4.5 bil­lion in tax, plac­ing them in the top six tax pay­ers in Aus­tralia and above com­pa­nies like Tel­stra and Wool­worths.

Thirdly, at­tempts by the WA Na­tion­als to jus­tify the thou­sands of job losses which will re­sult from its tax is an ex­er­cise in ir­re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Bren­don Grylls as WA Na­tion­als leader has openly ad­mit­ted that there is no mod­el­ling or eco­nomic rigour be­hind his state­ments and poli­cies such as tax changes, yet at the same time he re­fuses to sub­mit his poli­cies to WA Trea­sury for assess­ment.

CME is run­ning this cam­paign be­cause the threat posed by this iron ore tax scheme to the in­dus­try and, there­fore its work­ers and the State, is ex­treme.

Bren­don Grylls and the WA Na­tion­als have openly ad­mit­ted its min­ing tax plan is about win­ning votes and pol­i­tics, that is, what is best for them, not what is best for WA’s re­source sec­tor and the thou­sands of fam­i­lies and busi­nesses which rely on it.

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