The West Australian, November 29, 2016:
WA families and small business owners will be targeted by a new scare campaign about the impact of Brendon Grylls’ $5-a-tonne iron ore tax when the mining lobby rolls out the second part of its anti-tax blitz.
And the Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA is providing friendly politicians with “information packs and materials” to use to shoot down the tax.
BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto face having to fork out an extra $7 billion over the next four years if the WA Nationals leader forces the new tax on iron ore, which involves raising an obscure 25¢-a-tonne “special lease rental”, through State Parliament.
Details of the new advertising campaign were outlined in an email sent on Friday by the Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA and obtained byWestBusiness.
“The second phase of the campaign will shortly commence and will focus on the impact of the proposed tax on families and small to medium sized businesses,” CME WA boss Reg Howard-Smith wrote to his members.
“New advertisements have been prepared and will soon start appearing on television and social media around the State to complement the ongoing campaign.
“CME maintains there is no room for the introduction of a new tax on the Western Australian resources sector and is advocating hard on behalf of its members to ensure the proposal does not get traction with policy makers.”
Mr Howard-Smith noted that he had “strong support” from the Liberals and the ALP.
“They have been provided with information packs and material that can help them to support the campaign on the ground,” he wrote. “CME is also keen for its members to join the narrative on the proposed tax by sharing stories and spreading the campaign message.”
Mr Grylls said the CME had failed to explain why the 25¢-a-tonne levy, devised in the 1960s, was set in stone.
“I’m equally certain the next phase of the CME’s multi-million scare campaign, bankrolled by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, won’t include any mention of the WA Nationals’ policy to use a proportion of the new revenue source to fund a $880 million payroll tax relief package for 10,000 WA businesses,” he said.
“The Labor Party, devoid of ideas and yet to detail any plan to address WA’s structural budget deficit, might be the only ones who find the propaganda packs useful. For starters it may finally give them something to talk about other than an unfunded city rail project.”