Kevin Minson

Kevin Minson


    Negative impact on WA of removal of C'wlth diesel fuel rebate

    24/07/1996 12:00 AM



    Mines Minister Kevin Minson said today the Federal Government would adversely affect the lives of thousands of Western Australians if it removed the diesel fuel rebate in next month's Budget.


    "With the Federal Budget due next month, I am taking this opportunity to make a final plea for a rethink on the diesel fuel rebate issue," Mr Minson said.


    "As the mining industry currently receives only part of the rebate, any suggestion by the Federal Government of reducing it further would be unacceptable.


    "I remind the Commonwealth that one in five Western Australians work either directly or indirectly in the industry," he said.


    "Hitting the mining industry means hitting ordinary Western Australians because it will mean less exploration, fewer new mining projects, operations closing or tightening their belts.


    "It means fewer jobs and higher unemployment.


    "A belief that it is acceptable to pull hundreds of millions of dollars out of the mining industry because it is seen as the fat cat which can take a loss of that nature and carry on regardless is as shortsighted as it is untrue.


    "What the financial wizards in Canberra need to think hard about is that Western Australia provides 25 per cent Australia's export income.


    "WA minerals and petroleum production makes up 75 per cent of that 25 per cent."


    Mr Minson said a concerted effort had been made by peak industry groups and Ministerial colleagues to change the Commonwealth view on the rebate.


    "If the rebate is removed it could logically be seen as the thin end of the wedge," he said.


    "As the mining industry currently receives only part of the rebate, any suggestion by the Federal Governmemt of reducing it further would also be unacceptable.


    "The farming community, which receives a full rebate, and the fishing industry may not remain exempt if the mining industry loses the rebate and I would warn against complacency in this area.


    "I would urge the organisations involved with farming and fishing to join the mining industry groups in voicing their concern."


    Media contact: Caroline Lacy (09) 222 9211