Labor’s push to share mining riches
TASMANIAN Labor will look to adopt a policy to return some of the millions paid in royalties by mining companies directly back to the regions where the wealth is generated.
A motion for the party to support a Tasmanian Royalties for Regions Program - similar to one in Western Australia - was put up by the West Coast branch of the party and unanimously passed by delegates at the State Labor conference in Burnie today.
The deal would recognise the contribution the mining regions made to the Tasmanian economy, the conference heard.
The idea has been around for more than a decade with late West Coast Mayor Darryl Gerrity being a strong advocate.
Last financial year more than $40 million was paid to the State Government from companies that mine in Tasmania - mostly on the West Coast.
That money went into the State Government's general revenue.
In WA, 25 per cent of the royalties paid are sent back directly to the mining regions to improve services.
Braddon MHA Anita Dow said Tasmanian Labor would now examine the WA program in detail and how it might be adopted in Tasmania.
"The West Coast has issues around housing and access to health and social services. The population is also dwindling and now stands at less than 5000," Ms Dow said.
"It is up to us to support this motion and give the people of these regions our word that we will look at how we can better support them."