Why I am Standing for Pilbara

Why I am Standing for Pilbara

by David Archibald

8 January 2017


The riddle of why Haiti remains so poor has been answered as follows:

The answer has to do with the regime. It is a well-known fact that any accumulation of wealth in Haiti makes you a target, if not of the population in general, then certainly of the government. The regime, no matter who is in charge, is like a voracious dog on the loose, seeking to devour any private wealth that happens to emerge.

That sounds what Western Australia will be like under Brendan Grylls’ proposed big, new tax on iron ore.

BHPIO iron ore train arriving at Port Hedland, Western Australia

The plunder: Iron ore train arriving at Port Hedland, WA.

Of course the Nationals and Liberals won’t stop at a near doubling the taxes on iron ore. The Liberal/National government are spendthrifts — running up a further $35 billion of debt during a boom (that’s $17,000 per person). They have no interest in living within their means, which means that taxes will keep rising. Today it is iron ore but tomorrow it will be gold, nickel, copper, LNG — anything showing a bit of profitability at the time.

Brendan Grylls’ proposed tax will cost 2,900 jobs in WA’s iron ore industry with most of those job losses in Mr Grylls’ own seat of Pilbara. Mr Grylls is treating the people of his own electorate with contempt. He must know that it will hurt all businesses in the Pilbara, but he is quite happy to trade their misery for political gains down south.

If eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, that is also true of equitable tax rates. Mr Grylls’ new tax must be killed off. Even if Mr Grylls changed his mind before the next election, that would not be enough. Eventually the tax would come back. Mr Grylls must be removed from parliament as an example to others. The wisdom that the budget can be balanced by reducing expenditure must replace the current practice of taxes and expenditure increasing in perpetuity.

Even that won’t be enough. Much is made, from time to time, of reducing red tape, but nothing ever happens except increases in regulations and form-filling. Everyone in business knows that too much time is wasted in filling out forms. My philosophy is that if there is no benefit from a regulation, get rid of it. That includes things as bizarre as bag limits on herring and the law that people have to wear a helmet in order to ride a bicycle. The big job killers are the permits required to operate businesses. Some politicians have tut-tutted about the 4,900 permits required by the Roy Hill Mine to start operating but none have put forward a plan to fix the problem.

If elected, I will be the only politician in the WA Parliament who is explicitly pro-mining. I will get the dead hand of the EPA off mining. The EPA has a budget in excess of $250 million a year, which is mostly spent on torturing people in the bush, miners and farmers alike. I would also be the only WA parliamentarian who knows that global warming is a big con job and that there is no point in wasting money on it.

As Socrates said, the penalty that good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men. Brendan Grylls may not be overtly evil but he is set on a path which will send the State of WA backwards, and his own electorate faster than most. The election on 11th March gives us the opportunity to put things to rights. Let’s make the effort to do so.


David Archibald is the author of Australia’s Defence, Twilight of Abundance, and American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare.