RESOURCE industry employers have raised concerns with the 2013-14 state budget, saying the state government has overlooked record revenue contribution from the Western Australian resource sector.
The state budget released last week revealed mining revenue will this year reach $6.9 billion, including royalty payments of $5.8bn, accounting for 21% of government revenue, up from 5% in 2003-04.
Additionally, exports from major projects transitioning into the production phase are expected to drive the state’s economic growth.
The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME), however, has said the state’s rising debt levels will threaten the future of the resource sector.
“Maintaining our AAA credit rating is important to ensure our state continues to attract foreign investment,” chief executive Reg Howard-Smith said.
“In an increasingly internationally competitive environment, governments need to have policies in place to attract investment and promote economic development – the loss of this rating would add another unnecessary burden to the resources sector.”
Mr Howard-Smith also expressed disappointment at the state government’s failure to deliver on pre-election promises, including the expansion of the approvals tracking system and the development of a digital biodiversity library.
Meanwhile, the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies also raised concern for increases in utility charges, mining tenement fees and the mine safety levy.
“At a time when every dollar is critical to all companies, the budget will have an adverse impact on the bottom line and make Western Australia a less favourable place to operate,” chief executive Simon Bennison said.
“We are already seeing an increasing proportion of business and investment heading offshore to place such as Canada and Africa, and this budget will not change that trend or improve international competitiveness.”
To read more about the state budget announced last week, click here.