Gold tax puts local jobs on shaky ground

Member for Ripon, Louise Staley MP today visited the Ballarat Goldmine to discuss the impact of the Andrews Labor Government’s new gold mining tax on local jobs.

Ms Staley met with Stephen Jeffers, General Manager of Castlemaine Goldfields, who runs the Ballarat mine. Mr Jeffers has been an outspoken about the impact of Labor’s newest tax on the viability of the Ballarat operation.

Ms Staley said today’s meeting with Mr Jeffers confirmed that this is a tax on regional employers that puts local jobs at risk.

“Mr Jeffers said to me that Mr Pallas needs to take into account the risk that this Royalty poses to hundreds of local Ballarat jobs and the potential loss of wealth injected every year into the local Ballarat economy.”

“The gold industry is vital to local economies and Labor’s latest big new tax is going to make life even tougher for regional Victoria.”

Ballarat Goldmine has 220 employees and contractors as well as supporting jobs at a number of local suppliers.

Treasurer Tim Pallas was standing by his new 2.75% Gold Mining Royalty when asked about it during Question Time in Parliament last week. Clearly the Treasurer is running out of ways to prop up his Government’s overspending and cost blow outs on major projects in Melbourne. He is now risking regional jobs to raid the pockets of Victorian gold miners.

“Daniel Andrews and Tim Pallas have sprung this new tax on our gold mining industry without warning and without consultation,”

“Mr Jeffers said to me that the Ballarat Gold Mine wants a fair hearing into the implementation of this Royalty.”

As many workers in Ballarat face an uncertain future, the Treasurer has shown a complete disregard for the consequences these men and women face as a result of his decision. When asked last week at the Melbourne Press Club why he suddenly imposed a new gold tax, the Victorian Treasurer said “because I could”.