Uranium mining, payroll tax lead March policy efforts

CCIWA’s Policy & Advocacy team has a proven track record of championing policy that will grow and diversify the economy. 
At any one time, we’re working on new policy papers, submissions to government reports and inquiries or responding to issues raised by our Members. 
Here’s a snapshot of our work over March 2024. 

Policy Highlight:

March saw the release of our report Uranium mining in Western Australia. The paper provides some background research on uranium, including the current state of the global market for uranium, the regulatory context and the current policy that prevents new uranium mines from being developed.

Australia is home to the largest uranium reserves in the world, with a considerable share of these in WA. As the global shift to cleaner sources of energy accelerates, there is a resurging interest in nuclear power which, in turn, is fuelling a significant increase in the demand for uranium.

WA cannot capitalise on this increased demand, due to the State Government’s ban on uranium mining. If the ban was lifted, WA stands to benefit from potential opportunities in the stabilising uranium market. The State holds substantial uranium deposits, estimated at about 226,000 tonnes, indicating significant economic potential.

Other barriers include the lack of public understanding on the potential benefits and economic opportunities of uranium mining. CCIWA recommends that the public’s concerns should be addressed, and the ban lifted, in order to capitalise on the economic markets and help the world decarbonise. 

The full report can be found here. 

Point Made: Payroll Tax

CCIWA is leading a payroll tax campaign, to improve payroll tax settings for WA businesses. WA has the worst payroll tax in the country — adding to the cost of doing business.  

It is much more expensive to employ 20 Western Australians, than 20 South Australians? Our modest proposal would generate up to $1.37 billion in direct economic benefit, by immediately lifting the threshold to $1.3 million. If your taxable wages are between $1.3-1.4m, you would get a 15% rebate on your payroll tax liability, with the rebate tapering down to zero for organisations with taxable wages at $7.5m. We are also calling on the Government to commit to regular reviews of the payroll tax threshold. 

The proposal is supported by other peak associations including the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies, the Australian Hotels Association WA, the Housing Industry Association WA, the Tourism Council of WA, the National Retail Association, the Franchise Council of Australia and the Australian Medical Association (WA).  

You can join our campaign here.

Government Policy Focus:

Federal: Our main Federal focus has been to consider Nature Positive reforms, and the damaging impact on WA. CCIWA’s Policy Team were present at the latest round of Nature Positive Reform in-house consultations at the end of February and end of March. We also submitted a letter regarding the Consultation requirements for offshore oil and gas storage, pursuing common-sense reforms to keep WA’s industries moving. Our latest submissions for the Nature Positive reforms can be found here. 

CCIWA also continues to push back on the Federal Government’s new workplace laws.

State: Our State focus has been on securing meetings with Ministers and Government Departments, advocating for our State Pre-Budget Submission and our February report, Tapping the talent pool of people with disabilities, which found almost 61% of WA businesses surveyed said they had made “little to no progress” in increasing the number of staff with disabilities.   Discrimination and a lack of confidence, knowledge and training are blamed for the shortfall. But the report highlights well-established economic benefits of hiring people with disabilities, including increased profits, staff satisfaction and customer loyalty. 

Our successful advocacy has so far seen the Government commit to reforming environmental approvals processes, and we anticipate further announcements in the upcoming State Budget in May. Get tickets to our State Budget Breakdown here.

In the Media: 

“When the Federal Government introduces such retrograde industrial relations laws and puts on the table the prospect of additional complexity in environmental regulation, then it’s inevitable that concerns around the long-term health of the WA and national economies will rise… And inevitably, those concerns will cascade through businesses and across the community.” 

 CCIWA CEO Chris Rodwell in The West Australian, April 1, 2024 

 

To find out more about what we stand for, visit our Advocacy page. 

 

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