[Australia mining] Brendon Grylls accuses BHP, Rio-backed mining lobby of ‘wet lettuce’ fight – by Julie-anne Sprague (Australian Financial Review – February 8, 2017)


WA Nationals leader Brendon Grylls has urged BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto to spend millions of dollars on a campaign against Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s reluctance to change the GST distribution system.

Mr Grylls accused mining lobby group Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME) of a ‘wet lettuce’ fight with the Federal government during a live ABC radio debate in Perth on Wednesday.

CME chief executive Reg Howard-Smith said the lobby group had spent $2 million fighting Mr Grylls’s proposal, which combined funds from BHP, Rio, the Minerals Council of Australia and the CME. Mr Howard-Smith agreed the GST distribution system was unfair and that the lobby group had publicly declared Western Australia needed a fairer deal.

“That’s a wet lettuce fight you are having and you have decided to take on Western Australia over an unfair 25c [per tonne] levy,” Mr Grylls said. “So why aren’t you advertising against the commonwealth government for the unfair GST rather than against the people of Western Australia?” Mr Grylls said.

Late September Mr Turnbull said any changes to the system would be “some years away” after committing to introducing a floor that would cap losses when visiting WA in August.

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.afr.com/news/politics/election/brendon-grylls-accuses-bhp-riobacked-mining-lobby-of-wet-lettuce-fight-20170208-gu86i3