Nats vow to continue mining tax campaign

Headshot of Dylan Caporn
Dylan CapornThe West Australian
New State Nationals leader Mia Davies (right) at Parliament House with her deputy, Jacqui Boydell.
Camera IconNew State Nationals leader Mia Davies (right) at Parliament House with her deputy, Jacqui Boydell. Credit: Nic Ellis

New Nationals leader Mia Davies has vowed to continue Brendon Grylls’ mining tax push, despite the multimillion-dollar campaign by industry during the election.

But whether the party forms an Opposition alliance or coalition with the Liberals was still not clear, with Ms Davies defending the Nationals’ independence.

Ms Davies, who was endorsed on Tuesday by Nationals MPs after a ballot as Mr Grylls’ successor, said the party would continue to press the case to increase the special lease rental for BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto from 25c to $5 a tonne.

“My message to the people of WA and BHP and Rio Tinto and the Chamber of Minerals and Energy is that the CME better put their hands back into their pocket and get ready for another advertising campaign because absolutely without doubt the one thing our party room has said this morning is that we do not think it’s fair that normal West Australians should have to pay more when those two companies are not paying their fair share,” she said.

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“The platform we took to the party in asking those two companies to pay their fair share is something that our party room is still committed to and we will be having discussions about how we roll that out over the next 12 to 24 months.”

Ms Davies, the party’s first female leader in its 103-year history, said the Nationals would engage in discussions with the Liberals over the coming months on whether the two parties would form an alliance in opposition.

“The reason the Nationals have held their own, the reason that we’ve been able to deliver an unprecedented amount and influence for regional West Australians is because we have fiercely protected our independence,” she said.

“But I will work professionally with anyone in this Parliament to do that.”

New Liberal leader Mike Nahan said he was open to discussions with the Nationals over the future of the alliance. Upper House MP Jacqui Boydell was elected deputy leader after a ballot.

Ms Davies retained her Central Wheatbelt seat and increased her primary majority at the State election amid a massive swing away from the conservatives.

She has held the seat since 2013 and previously represented the Agricultural Region from 2009 to 2013.

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