Gold workers welcome end of jobs threat

The 25,000 men and women working in Western Australia’s gold sector have welcomed the successful disallowance of the Mining Amendment Regulations (No. 2) 2017 in State Parliament. 

The disallowance formally ends a proposal by the Labor Government to increase the gold royalty rate by 50 per cent. 

The passing of the disallowance motion in the Upper House today follows a concerted effort by WA gold sector workers to highlight to all Members of Parliament that their jobs would be at risk under the increased royalty regime. 

Thousands of workers from the gold sector and related industries attended public rallies in Perth and Kalgoorlie over the past month to voice their concerns about the proposed royalty hike. 

“The disallowance is a great outcome for jobs and for Western Australia,” AngloGold Ashanti Senior Vice President Mike Erickson said today. 

“A strong gold sector is vitally important to WA’s economic growth prospects. 

“The proposal to increase the gold royalty rate from 2.5 per cent to 3.75 per cent was ill-advised and would have led to job losses because of the closure of marginal mines, the curtailment of other mining operations and exploration – the lifeblood of our industry – grinding to a halt. 

“Thank you to all the MPs who listened to the workers and supported the disallowance motion.” 

Modelling by the Chamber of Minerals and Energy revealed that almost 3,000 jobs would be lost from those working in the gold mining sector along with A$44.9 million in royalties if the 50 per cent royalty increase had been imposed. 

CME Chief Executive Reg Howard-Smith again thanked the WA Liberals, the Nationals, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers and the Liberal Democrats for their support in passing the disallowance motion to protect West Australian jobs. 

“This was only ever about protecting West Australian jobs,” Mr Howard-Smith said. 

“The WA gold sector looks forward to moving on now and working proactively with the Labor Government towards the common goal of making sure our State’s economy is strong and growing.” 

Marielle Azzopardi