Mining Companies Reap Taxpayer Coin in Budget Deficit


Wed, 11/12/2013

In the midst of a budget deficit, a new round of grants has been allocated for mining exploration in Western Australia this week.

The Liberal National Government is offering $5.6 million to help, what it dubs, “the next generation of mines in Western Australia”.

Between 2008-2017, the Government has set aside over $130 million as part of the Exploration Incentive Scheme, a State Government program supported by Royalties for Regions.

“I am truly incredulous that the Western Australian public is not incredibly angry about these constant allocations of funds being funneled into the pockets of private industry, who by the very nature of the conservative ideology should be standing on their own two feet.

The logic of this funding allocation against a backdrop of a budget deficit; against cuts in education; against inadequately funded hospitals; against slashes to basic services that benefit everyday people is just baffling and a slap in the face to Western Australians.

The Royalties for Regions Scheme should be taking from the exploitative, extractive industries and supporting true regional services. We should be funding future industries, affordable housing and community infrastructure that will ensure sustainability beyond the current mining boom.

Why are we simply using these precious funds to further facilitate these industries? This has been the richest period in our State’s history and yet here we are in a deficit shoveling money into absurdly well-off mining companies.

I call on the government to provide moral and economic justification for this proposed expenditure and to explain to the West Australian taxpayers why they are paying to support an industry that can easily afford to pay its own way.

If we are already struggling as a state to provide affordable housing, energy infrastructure, good public transport options, community and health services, how on earth can we justify this expenditure?”

For more information please contact Robin Chapple on 0409 379 263 or 9486 8255

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