Nationals have turned their backs on small miners: WA Greens

Thursday, 20th October 2016

The WA Greens have criticised the Nationals after they have continued to support the Government’s position on the sale of Utah Point in Port Hedland.

“The Nationals say they are for small miners, but they have supported a bill that benefits big business and leaves small miners in the dust” WA Greens spokesperson for mining, Robin Chapple MLC said. 

“Utah Point is the only facility in Port Hedland that is not owned and utilised by either BHP, FMG or Roy Hill, and it allows small miners to compete.

“The Bill proposes the privatisation of Utah point, a move which could allow foreign investors or huge mining companies to move in and price their smaller competitors out of existence.

“The Nationals are hypocritical - they want to tax BHP and RIO Tinto, but they won't protect small miners.

“They supported recommendations from the Committee to limit the effect of privatisation, but won't support the Greens amendments which mirror those recommendations, and have the full support of small miners.

“The WA Greens have consistently stood up for the rights of small miners to access Port Hedland and we wholly oppose the privatisation, via the Pilbara Port Assets (Disposal) Bill 2015, altogether.

“However, If the sale goes ahead we believe Utah Point should only be reserved for small miners and should not be leased to the highest bidder.

“If the Nationals really wanted to protect regional jobs, as they claim, then they should have the fortitude to stand withsmaller miners and not only support our amendments, but wholly oppose the privatisation of Utah Point facility.”

Legislative council have been debating the Bill since March. 

For more information please contact Tim Oliver on 08 9486 8255 or 0431 9696 25.

 

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