Friday, 26 August
WA Greens Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Robin Chapple MLC has labelled the ongoing debate around iron ore royalties, initiated by new Nationals leader Brendon Grylls, ‘naïve in the extreme’.
“I made the point, in an adjournment speech in the upper house last Tuesday, that any proposed changes to State Agreement Acts in Western Australia could pose significant sovereign risk issues,” Mr Chapple said.
“Furthermore, if you plan to tackle royalty issues embedded in state agreement acts then why not include other significant producers such as FMG and Roy Hill, and other linked industries such as Magnetite?
“I have opposed every State Agreement Act that has gone through the legislative council whilst Mr Grylls party has done the exact opposite; this proposal stinks of hypocrisy.
“Whilst the WA Greens are strongly supportive of the principal in Mr Grylls announcement, this is not the appropriate method of going about it.
“As a side to this debate, it is important to remember that the portion of GST share we are receiving as a state is based on the iron ore boom where prices soared to more than $120 per tonne.
“We cannot continue to throw WA’s share of the GST around as a solution to our fiscal woes; our share will be corrected in time but in the mean time we should be focusing on diversification to ensure we are never in this situation again.”