Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

WA Senator Slams Nationals Iron Ore Tax

The WA Nationals’ demonisation of the resources sector by proposing a new mining tax has been slammed as “utter madness” and “outrageously ridiculous” in Federal Parliament.

WA Liberal Senator Linda Reynolds laid bare the risk posed by the WA Nationals plan to impose an extra layer of tax on the major Pilbara iron ore producers, in a speech to the Senate chamber yesterday.

“It is simply utter madness. There are few ideas that are more anti-West Australian, anti-Australian and anticompetitive,” Senator Reynolds said.

“Not only are billions of dollars in taxation revenue at risk but thousands of Australian jobs. The kicker of it all for me as a Western Australian senator is that, even if this were implemented and the tax were raised from both of these companies, over 70 per cent of that money would go to the Commonwealth coffers—it would not be staying in the Western Australian coffers. It is outrageously ridiculous.

"It is time we stopped demonising our resources sector and had a sensible national discussion about how to support it. Business is not a stakeholder in the economy—it is the economy.”

Under the Nationals WA discriminatory plan, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto would pay a mining lease rental of $5 per tonne of iron ore on top of the 7.5 per cent royalty rate and other fees and charges they already pay.

CME chief executive Reg Howard-Smith said Senator Reynolds obviously understood the impact the Nationals mining tax would have on the companies and the regions in which they operate.

“Senator Reynolds is a strong supporter of the resources sector as she understands the significant impact iron ore mining has had on Western Australia,” Mr Howard-Smith said.

“Sadly, Nationals WA leader Brendon Grylls has chosen to ignore the strong economic and social contribution being made to the regions, state and country by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto by proposing this tax.

“As Ms Reynolds says, we need to stop demonising the very industry that is a major employer and contributor to our economy.”