Today's official capital expenditure data underline the folly of the WA Nationals’ proposal for a new $7.2 billion tax on Australia's major iron ore producers.

The ABS figures showed that capex in the mining sector fell by 16 per cent in the June quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis.  The $10.7 billion expenditure is the lowest since the December 2010 quarter.

WA Nationals Leader Brendan Grylls’ proposal for a new $7.2 billion iron ore tax would make Western Australia the highest taxing iron ore province in the world.

Massive new taxes on Western Australia’s most important industry will reduce jobs, not create them. 

A huge new tax burden will deter investment, not encourage it.

If implemented, the tax will hurt households in the cities and the regions of WA, it will hurt small businesses across the state and it will freeze investment in the state.

BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto already make a substantial contribution to the WA economy. 

In 2014-15, the two companies contributed $3.2 billion in royalties to the government and a further $259 million in other state government taxes.  Iron ore royalties to the state government have doubled since 2009-10 from $1.5 billion to an estimated $3.6 billion in 2015-16.

In the five years to 2015-16, BHP and Rio Tinto purchased around $80 billion worth of goods and services from local WA businesses and invested approximately $2.7 billion in infrastructure and services for local towns and communities.

A new mining tax directly threatens the substantial benefits that the iron ore industry delivers for all Western Australians.

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