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No deal on gold royalty increase

Western Australia’s gold industry has today rejected a second attempt by the by the Treasurer, Hon Ben Wyatt MLA, to increase the gold royalty rate and put thousands of local jobs at risk.

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME) and the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) strongly oppose the proposed increase in the gold royalty rate, saying the so-called “new” proposal was no more than a re-packaged version of the original.

“This massive increase still puts at risk, new and existing projects, jobs in the gold mining industry, and supporting services such as exploration and drilling,” AMEC CEO Warren Pearce said.

“And it does absolutely nothing to address the fact that approximately 60% of the revenue collected will be sent to the Eastern States, via GST distribution.”

CME CEO Reg Howard-Smith said there had to be a better solution to the Government’s debt problem.

“We acknowledge the financial position the State Government faces, and agree that everyone needs to share the burden,” Mr Howard-Smith said.

“However, a gold royalty increase is not the answer as it would just threaten jobs, affect local communities, and impact the growth of WA’s economy – all counterproductive measures when you are trying to repair the State’s finances.”

The gold industry is appreciative of the support of the MPs who have today reaffirmed their opposition to an increase in the gold royalty rate and vowed to block this proposal in the Parliament.