Coolgardie gold miner Shane Munro has a clear and very simple message for the Western Australian Labor Government.
“If I could sit down with the Treasurer, I’d say increasing the gold royalty rate will only put a stranglehold on the future of the industry,” Mr Munro said.
“Our families and the wider communities will be the ones to cop the blow if this goes ahead.”
Mr Munro, an underground electrician with Northern Star, said his son had been hoping to find an apprenticeship in the gold industry.
“The industry was just starting to increase the number of apprentice positions but this royalty increase means those jobs will become harder to get,” he said.
But it’s not just his son’s work prospects that worry this Goldfields local who is an active volunteer with the local fire service and the St Johns Ambulance service.
“These organisations rely directly and indirectly on the gold mining companies for support and a workforce of volunteers,” Mr Munro said.
The gold industry is the backbone of towns like Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie and Mr Munro said locals are deeply concerned about the flow-on effects the rate hike will have on the community.
He said the WA Labor Government didn’t understand the long-term damage the decision will do to existing jobs and to the creation of future jobs in the gold industry.
Every year, gold producers spend more than $4.4 billion on wages and salaries, business purchases, community contributions and local government payments.
In addition, the gold companies also pay more than $290 million to the State Government in royalties and taxes and a further $245 million to the Federal Government.