12/02/2010 - 13:37

Buswell comments damaging: AMEC

12/02/2010 - 13:37

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Speculation from Treasurer Troy Buswell of increases to state mining royalties is damaging to the resources sector and likely to send investor cash to the banks rather than projects.

Buswell comments damaging: AMEC

Speculation from Treasurer Troy Buswell of increases to state mining royalties is damaging to the resources sector and likely to send investor cash to the banks rather than projects.

Association of Mining and Exploration Companies chief executive Simon Bennison said comments from the treasurer were extremely unhelpful and served only to further erode fragile investor confidence.

Yesterday, Mr Buswell agreed with Treasury Secretary Ken Henry who has proposed that the mining royalties are too low.

"While the Treasurer did avoid making any specific statement about the government's plans to alter royalties, it doesn't take a genius to join the dots that he left in full daylight," Mr Bennison said.

"Given the industry that delivers the largest source of income to WA's budget is just starting to emerge from a disastrous global financial crisis, this kind of speculation is very damaging.

"Investors are nervous. Speculation of a regime change creates further angst and will prompt some investors to put their money in the bank rather than backing projects that are very important for Australia's financial future.

"This comment from the WA Treasurer is unhelpful, particularly on the back of recent Federal Government speculation to introduce a new resource rent tax.

"We urge senior Government officials to carefully consider their public remarks and bare in mind at all times that Australian resources companies are competing with many other attractive jurisdictions for investment and ultimately, jobs."

Earlier this week, Premier Colin Barnett was reported as saying he was chasing more in royalties from BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto from July 1, a deadline he has given to the mining giants as the proceed with merger plans of their Pilbara iron ore operations.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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