The Victorian Labor government’s state budget, handed down by Treasurer Tim Pallas, includes plans to introduce a 2.75 per cent royalty on gold production.

The Andrews Government announced that the tax will be introduced from January 2020, stating that it will bring the State of Victoria “into line with other states, and will generate an expected AU$56 million in revenue”.

The royalty update follows a strong wave of investment in Victoria’s gold sector in recent years, propelled by Kirkland Gold’s discovery of the Eagle zone at its Fosterville gold mine in 2015.

But Minerals Council of Australia Executive Director, Victorian Division, James Sorahan, argues that the Victorian Government failed to appropriately consult with industry prior to announcing the plan, saying that there was no transparency leading to the announcement.

“The Andrews Government has not consulted or listened to regional communities such as Stawell, Bendigo and Ballarat which are home to hundreds of highly paid, highly skilled mining jobs,” said Mr Sorahan.

He noted that proposed gold tax could cost jobs in regional Victoria, threaten investment and hit the mining industry hard across Victoria.

“The Andrews Government’s mining tax is higher than Western Australian gold royalties, and ignores the fact that most of Victoria’s gold mines are smaller than other states and face a far less favourable regulatory regime,” said Mr Sorahan.

MCA called on the Andrews Government to immediately abandon the gold tax.