WA's business community is calling for a review of the Royalties for Regions program, claiming it is no longer affordable.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry says it is not sustainable for 25 per cent of mining royalties to be set aside indefinitely but Nationals leader Brendon Grylls has warned critics to back off.

Mr Grylls was kingmaker after the 2008 election when both parties needed the Nationals to form government, and both agreed to implement the regional royalties program.

Five years on and the CCI's John Nicolaou has serious concerns about its long term future.

"The government simply can't afford to allocate a fixed percentage of a growing revenue base to one particular program," he said..

The fund is protected by legislation which requires 25 per cent of mining royalties to be set aside.

Mr Nicolaou points out that while revenue going into the fund has been steadily rising, GST payments to WA have been falling.

"Between 2009 and now, Royalties for Regions will get around double what it was originally allocated in the first budget so it does pose some challenges now from a financial perspective for the state government.

The CCI wants the state's economic regulator to review the Royalties for Regions program, and believes there is no time to waste after Western Australia lost its triple A credit rating.

Nationals leader Brendon Grylls is not interested in wholesale changes.

"I'm not willing to make legislative changes to the Royalties for Regions act," he said.

He says in the last budget, more than $500 million was cut from the program to help improve the state's bottom line.

The Opposition's Ben Wyatt wants Royalties for Regions money dipped into more often to pay for key projects, including an extra floor at the new children's hospital.

"We need to be much more open in how we spend Royalties for Regions money provided that there's a strong return for all Western Australians," he said.

Brendon Grylls is adamant the program will remain as is.

"Until my last dying breath I will defend Royalties for Regions," he said.

The Treasurer Troy Buswell says changes to the program will be ongoing but there is no need for radical reform.

About News.net

Publishing Services International Limited (PSIL) is the publisher and operator of a worldwide network of online news sites dedicated to delivering fair, accurate and relevant reporting from a variety of the world’s most trusted sources – from the biggest cities to the smallest towns.

We deliver positive and powerful messages to our readers, providing up‑to‑the‑second news that matters to the individual.

Our promise is to serve communities and individuals worldwide, delivering information that hasn’t always been available to them. We will give them back a voice – a voice that’s empowering because it is theirs – and provide a platform to communicate between themselves and the world.

We believe people are not just generic demographics; they are individuals with their own preferences and curiosities. We are about understanding these individuals, listening to them, and serving them.

We are the new pioneering spirit of news – we’re not talking to everyone, we’re talking with every one.

If you want your news, your voice, your way, on your time – we’ve got news for you.

 

FAQs

Email

If you have any questions or concerns please email us on support@news.net

Phone

  • Australia, Toll Free 1-800-983-421
  • Hong Kong, Toll Free 800-906-187
  • Singapore, Toll Free 800-852-3871
  • USA/Canada, Toll Free 1-800-830-4132

Advertise With Us

Interested in being awesome?
Contact us by email or phone.

Cancel