Industry heads urged to pressure Coalition

Jim Chalmers has reiterated the federal government’s relationship with WA, while calling for WA resource bosses to push the Coalition to support changes to the Petroleum Resources Rent Tax.

Mr Chalmers said WA was a key player in the Australian economy. Photo: Katrina Tap.

The Federal Treasurer addressed WA’s role in the federal budget in a keynote speech in Perth this morning.

Mr Chalmers outlined key points in the budget, notably cost of living relief, industry investment and increase in WA’s GST share.

He thanked his friend Mark Mc Gowan for attending and acknowledged WA’s role as an “export powerhouse” in growing the nation’s economy.

Turning to address the resource industry representatives at the event, Mr Chalmers said if the Coalition did not work with his government to pass the changes to the Petroleum Resources Rent Tax, Labor would be forced to negotiate with the Greens.

“That’s not in the interest of these industries we’re talking to today. That’s not in the interest of the state. That’s not in the interest of the country for us to be trying to pass the PRRT changes through parliament without the Coalition doing the right and responsible thing,” he said.

“I would urge people here, whether you’re in that industry specifically or not, the Coalition needs to see sense here.”

When asked if he wanted audience members to contact and put pressure on Coalition MPs, he replied ‘Yes’.

As outlined in the federal budget, the PRRT will be amended, after a review into the current policy was conducted by the treasury.

The amendment will increase the PRRT by $2.4 billion over the next four years.

A cap will also be introduced on deductions used to offset PRRT paid by liquified natural gas producers, after the review found LNG projects were yet to pay any PRRT.

Cost (in billions) of WA’s biggest LNG projects. Data source: Business News.

The Greens have argued the changes are not enough, with Senator Nick McKim suggesting they are “less than the bare minimum” in fighting climate change.

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association has welcomed a confirmation of the amendments and has called for bipartisan support of Labor’s changes in the budget.

Opposition leader Peter Dutton has suggested the Coalition will not back changes to the PRRT.

Curtin University politics professor Alan Fenna said the Coalition was likely to more closely achieve its objective if it worked with the Labor party. However its stance seemed to be motivated by political advance.

“It’s a conflict between party and political logic,” he said.

Mr Chalmers urged WA’s resources sector to lobby for Labor’s PRRT reforms. Photo: Katrina Tap.