Greens MLC Robin Chapple has called on the mining industry to look after its own research needs and refuse to accept the State Government’s $7.5 million subsidy.

Mr Chapple was responding to the Budget announcement made yesterday by the Minister for Mines and Petroleum Norman Moore and the State Treasurer Christian Porter that $7.5million of taxpayers’ money will be set aside for the establishment of a Minerals Research Institute to promote mineral research in WA.

“Why, when we are in the midst of a mining boom, are taxpayers are being asked to foot the bill for work that will benefit this already indecently wealthy industry?” Mr Chapple said.

“The mining industry already receives $80million of taxpayers’ money each year from Royalties for Regions via the Exploration Incentive Scheme and what do we see for that?

“This is an industry that is already placing a strain on other industries, businesses and service providers such as the tourism industry, which can’t attract employees because it can’t afford to pay them a competitive rate and can’t find affordable housing for them.

“The State Government is having real problems funding many important social programs for those most in need and yet it sees fit to spend millions propping up the very wealthiest in our midst.

“This government has turned its back on the poor and disadvantaged in our community, many of whom have been caught on the wrong side of our two-speed economy and have become economic refugees as a result of the mining industry’s dominance.

“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.

“Not only that, they will have to pay higher prices post-budget for Government services that the State says it cannot afford.

“The mining industry makes billions of dollars from exploiting the State’s resources – the taxpayers’ resources – a large portion of which is sent overseas.”


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

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