Nationals Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie has condemned Labor and the Greens for voting against the repeal of Mining Rent Resources Tax in the Senate this week saying the vote highlighted the need for a strong regional Western Australian presence in the Senate.
‘‘This is an anti-Western-Australian tax that has not worked,’’ Senator McKenzie said.
‘‘It is time that this badly designed tax was abolished so that we can get on with the business of fixing the mess that the former government has left us.’’
Senator McKenzie said Australian owned and operated mining companies which were trying to expand their businesses were being stifled by the tax.
‘‘The legislation also fails to recognise that Australians already share in the mining resources of our nation through state royalties,’’ she said.
‘‘This tax stands in stark contrast to the Western Australian Government's Royalties for Regions program, which is a great example of well-developed policy that is successfully spreading the wealth of the resources boom to the wider population.’’
The National's WA Senate candidate Shane Van Styn said he was keen to see more practical policy solutions as successful as the Royalties for Regions.
‘‘This program is about ensuring some of the profits from mining go back to the communities where that wealth was created,’’ he said.
The program, conceived by former WA Nationals leader Brendon Grylls, is now being continued by Terry Redman and the Western Australian Coalition Government.
The program quarantines 25 per cent of all mining and petroleum royalties to be spent in regional WA.
Senator McKenzie said since 2008 more than $4.2 billion has been spent on more than 3,500 projects in health and education provision, reinvigorating regional communities by creating local jobs and building local communities.
She said it was programs like this which highlighted the importance of having The Nationals to represent Western Australia in Federal Parliament.
‘‘With experience and a solid track record in small business, local government and politics, Mr Van Styn would provide the people of WA with a strong regional voice in federal parliament,’’ she said.
‘‘On April 5th, Western Australians can choose to vote for a candidate who supports strong economic growth, who supports regional Australia and who wants to get the MRRT off Western Australia's back.’’
Media contact: Kathleen Tonini 0400530027