WA business leaders say the federal budget has made life more difficult for local industry and fails to recognise the state’s importance to the national economy.
Chamber of Minerals and Energy chief executive Reg Howard-Smith said a move to tighten exploration deductions for big miners would threaten the competitiveness of the state’s resources industry.
The initiative is expected to raise $1.1 billion over four years.
“Industry is already dealing with significant increases in the cost of doing business, particularly in Western Australia,” Mr Howard-Smith said.
“It makes no economic sense to place further barriers in front of the strongest industry in the country when the long run aim is increased revenues.
“It is in the national long-term interest to continue to support exploration within Western Australia.”
Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA chief executive James Pearson said the budget should have delivered more in infrastructure funding to assist the state’s growing population.
“Despite WA still being the state contributing most to the national economy, WA’s share of infrastructure investment from the federal government is only 6 per cent of the national total, well below what is required to meet the demands of the national economy’s engine room,” he said.
WA will receive around $1.1 billion in road infrastructure funding over the forward years as well as an additional $500 million towards urban rail projects.
State Labor spokesman Ben Wyatt said the Barnett government now had “no excuse” for failing to deliver its major transport commitments in light of the funding.