Proposed WA Royalty Increase Blocked in Parliament

A plan to increase the royalty on gold produced in Western Australia (E&MJ, October 2017, p. 18), announced in early August by the state’s Labor government, was voted down in the Western Australia Parliament on October 10 by a coalition of the opposition Liberal party and several minority parties. The government had planned to raise gold royalties from 2.5% to 3.75% from January 2018 in an attempt to raise almost A$400 million for use in curtailing the state’s debt, which, according to a report in WAtoday, is expected to peak at around A$43.8 billion by 2020.

The planned increase had met with vociferous opposition from gold mining companies, gold sector workers, suppliers, and small businesses and contractors that provide services to the industry. A statement issued by the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia quoted AngloGold Ashanti Senior Vice President Mike Erickson as saying, “The disallowance of the proposed gold royalty increase is a great outcome for jobs and for Western Australia.”

“A strong gold sector is vitally important to WA’s economic growth prospects. The proposal to increase the gold royalty rate from 2.5% to 3.75% was ill-advised and would have led to job losses because of the closure of marginal mines, the curtailment of other mining operations, and exploration — the lifeblood of our industry — grinding to a halt. “Thank you to all the MPs who listened to the workers and supported the disallowance motion.”

As featured in Womp 2017 Vol 11 -