Right call on royalty rates
I was thrilled to hear on Wednesday 25 March that Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion announced there will be no changes to royalty rates in this year’s state Budget.
The minister made this announcement on the back of the release of the long awaited review into Western Australia’s mineral royalty system, the Mineral Royalty Rate Analysis (MRRA).
I have been vocal in my opinion that royalty rates, specifically the gold royalty rate, should not be changed and I commend the minister for listening to industries and communities.
I have delivered a number of speeches in federal parliament, written opinion pieces including an open letter to the Premier published in the Kalgoorlie Miner and discussed this issue with Bill Marmion and WA Treasurer Dr Mike Nahan.
Dr Nahan was actually in Canberra just last week and this was one of the issues we spoke in detail about.
Last year, the Kalgoorlie branch of the Liberal Party moved a motion it took the Liberal Party State conference opposing any increase to royalties and it was unanimously approved at every step along the way.
I would like to congratulate the Kalgoorlie branch of the Liberal Party and particularly branch president Jason Wells on helping to make this a state issue and continuing to fight for it. The branch can see the value that gold mining has to their town and doesn’t want government to intrude on that.
While I acknowledge that the recommendation of the MRRA is for the ad valorem rate of 2.5% for gold to be changed to 3.75%, I am pleased the minister has made the decision to not implement this and save thousands of jobs across the sector.
Gold miners already pay more than $300 million in taxes and royalties to the WA government which helps build our roads, schools, hospitals and police stations. They shouldn’t have to pay more which could scare off investors and potential start-ups and even see some existing operations close down.
As the minister specified there will be no changes to the royalty rates in this year’s budget, we will continue to lobby the WA Government to not increase the gold royalty rate in future
I also think the report’s recommendation to decrease the royalty rate for uranium is good news, providing surety for the companies with planned uranium mines in the northern goldfields.
Thank you Premier Colin Barnett, Bill Marmion and Mike Nahan for making what I believe is the right decision.
Rick Wilson MP
Federal Member for O’Connor