The gold industry is pulling out all stops in its fight to defeat what it claims will be a job-crippling royalty increase, while division simmers in the Liberal Party over whether to give the bid crucial support in Parliament.
From taking out large newspaper advertisements to inviting key media figures to dinner at fancy restaurants, the mining lobby is leaving no stone unturned in its battle against the McGowan Government’s gold royalty hike.
But with the vote in State Parliament to determine the fate of the 50 per cent rise in the royalty rate potentially less than a week away, the industry stepped its campaign up a notch yesterday. In a rare show of unity, senior executives from some of the state’s biggest gold miners, and top figures from other companies linked to the industry, lined up yesterday to warn jobs would be lost en masse if the royalty hike remained.
Executives were jetted in from across the country to make their case at an “industry roundtable” in Perth, hosted by the Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME). Their warnings were dire and included mine closures, exploration cuts, a reduction in apprenticeships and direct harm to employment in Aboriginal communities.
The bottom line was clear — the Government’s attempt to use the industry to raise hundreds of millions of dollars will kill jobs and cripple the economy.
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