MEDIA RELEASE

20 February 2020

 

Tim Quilty slams gold tax proposal, calls for regional Victoria to break free

Tim Quilty, Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria, has again raised the idea of regional Victoria breaking away from Melbourne in a speech criticising Labor’s plan to increase taxes on gold mines.

The cash-strapped Andrews Government wants to raise more money by increasing the taxes paid by gold-mining companies.

Mr Quilty believes this proposal will kill off the industry, leaving many in regional Victoria out of work.

“This will put jobs at risk all over regional Victoria. In my electorate there will be 200 jobs at Costerfield operations, and there will be hundreds of others across Victoria in mines—not to mention smashing the prospectors out there looking for the next Fosterville, or the hundreds of small businesses that support the mining industry. It is going to put the brakes on a growing industry,” Mr Quilty said.

Mr Quilty said the Andrews Government is intent on trying to win votes in Melbourne at the expense of regional Victoria.

“The Andrews government continues its War on the Regions… Apparently votes in Melbourne are worth more than the whole rest of the state combined. Labor are bleeding votes in the regions,” Mr Quilty said.

Mr Quilty then recalled the idea he proposed in his maiden speech – that regional Victoria go it alone, freed from the metro-centric Labor Government.

“Let me again raise the idea of Rexit – the Regional Exit, where all of regional Victoria says goodbye to the Melbourne-based politicians – who not only do not care, but apparently actively wish us ill,” Mr Quilty said.

“Every time you pour a bucket onto the regions, you bring Rexit one step closer to reality.”

The Member for Northern Victoria then offered the Government a deal.

“During a debate in this Chamber last sitting week I was chastised for reminding the Government they have betrayed timber workers, irrigators, tourism operators and now miners,” Mr Quilty said.

“I am willing to work out a deal – if this government can stop betraying country Victorians for a moment, I promise to stop hurting your feelings.

“This motion is a test to see those members who are for northern Victoria and those who are against northern Victoria.

“It’s a test you seem to fail every time.

“I will hold you to account, and if a single family loses their income because of this stupid tax, you should all hang your heads in shame.”

For more information, contact Graham Springett | 0408 208819