Peak industry bodies unite to oppose job-destroying mining tax

With just five days to go until the Western Australian (WA) State Election, a group of WA and Australia’s most respected business and resources industry bodies have called for Western Australians to oppose the WA Nationals’ job and investment destroying mining tax scheme.

In an open letter in today’s West Australian newspaper, the heads of the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME), Minerals Council of Australia, Business Council of Australia, Association of Mining & Exploration Companies and Chamber of Commerce & Industry WA, call on the people of Western Australia to carefully consider the damaging implications of the WA Nationals’ policy and the threat it poses to the economic welfare of the state.

CME Chief Executive, Mr Reg Howard-Smith, said the WA Nationals’ mining tax will destroy confidence in investment in WA as a result of proposed changes to State Agreements, cost 3,400 Western Australian jobs, with almost 3,000 of those in the Pilbara alone, make WA less competitive against international rivals like Brazil and result in even more of WA’s GST share heading to the eastern states.

“There is no doubt that the WA Nationals will cost jobs, drive away investment into our state and result in our paltry GST share becoming even worse – even Brendon Grylls concedes this point,” Mr Howard-Smith, said.

“That is why you see these peak business and resources industry bodies joining together to oppose this tax.

“At a time when WA’s economy is starting to show green shoots, the WA Nationals, through their mining tax scheme, are asking WA communities to suffer job losses and economic pain for no benefit.

“The notion that damaging BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto is good for investment and jobs in Western Australia, especially in regional communities facing economic uncertainty, is deeply flawed.”