The WA Liberal Party has unanimously voted to block a 50% gold royalty hike, after severe backlash from the mining industry over Labor treasurer Ben Wyatt’s controversial proposal.
The Liberals voted to block the budget measure in the state’s Upper House on Tuesday, giving them enough sway – along with the Nationals and crossbench – to block the legislation.
“[The Liberals] have decided to side with a very profitable industry over WA families,” a disappointed Wyatt said.
The news follows a sustained campaign from the state’s gold industry, which said 3,000 jobs could be lost if the royalty was implemented.
Wyatt wanted to raise the gold miner royalty from 2.5% to 3.75%, and planned to implement the change as soon as January next year.
The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia thanked the WA Liberals, the Nationals, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers and the Liberal Democrats “for vowing to block” the 50% hike.
“Industry leaders, workers and small businesses which depend on the gold sector applauded today’s announcement by the WA Liberals,” the Chamber said in a statement on October 10.
“Everyone in the gold industry is extremely grateful to all the MPs who have vowed to block Labor’s tax increase,” Saracen Minerals managing director Raleigh Finlayson said.
“We are also very appreciative of the support we have received from suppliers, contractors and so many people in the wider WA community who recognise the vital role the gold industry plays in creating jobs and economic growth.”