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Monday, 1 September 2014
Page: 9301

Mr WILSON (O'Connor) (16:45): On 6 August I was honoured to represent the Prime Minister at the 2014 Diggers & Dealers conference in Kalgoorlie—the unofficial gold capital of Australia. This conference is a renowned mining industry conference held annually. The participants are made up of mining and exploration companies, brokers, bankers, investors, financiers and mining service industries. While speaking with delegates, it was heartening to observe the improving sentiment in the mining and resources industry. We all know that the industry is cyclical and that with the highs come the lows. I dare to hope that the renewed confidence means we are on an upward trajectory again. However, the state government's review of gold mining royalties is creating uncertainty in the industry. At the recent WA Liberal Party state conference in Perth, the Kalgoorlie branch moved a motion to oppose any gold royalty rate increase. I fully support it, and so did the WA Liberal Party. I commend the Kalgoorlie branch for putting it forward. Clearly, any royalty increase will have a significant impact on the goldfields. According to a report by Deloitte for the Gold Royalties Response Group, over the past six years the average cost of gold production in WA has doubled, from $511 an ounce to at least $1,100 an ounce.

The gold industry employs more than 25,000 people, making it the second largest employer in the resources industry. Many of these people live in my electorate of O'Connor. We cannot keep hammering our productive industries. I will oppose any move that places more pressure on the gold industry. There is a long way to go before we can say that we are near the top of the cycle, but the renewed confidence I observed at Diggers & Dealers is encouraging.

Debate adjourned.