Nahan brushes off WA leadership chatter

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WA Opposition Leader Mike Nahan says he and the Liberals will not be distracted by speculation about his job, as the party plans to meet to decide its position on the state government’s proposed gold royalty hike.

“It’s a figment of people’s imagination,” Dr Nahan told reporters on Monday.

“There is no case at all for anybody in the party room to challenge me. It is meant to be a diversionary action to take us off our main game, that is to hold the government accountable.”

Chatter about Dr Nahan’s leadership follows the state budget, which the former treasurer was quick to label a “budget of betrayal” with broken election promises, but some believe the Liberals have failed to capitalise on the Labor government’s controversial choices.

The Liberals will meet on Tuesday morning to vote on the gold royalty issue and Dr Nahan said it would be a “full and robust” discussion.

“I will respect the views of the party room and express it to the public after it’s made,” he said.

“We’re not going to be railroaded by the government or anybody else into making a premature decision.”

When Treasurer Ben Wyatt announced the royalty increase from 2.5 per cent to 3.75 per cent, he estimated it would raise $400 million over four years and cost miners an extra $20 per ounce of production.

The sector has publicly fought against the hike, including the heads of some of the world’s largest gold miners.

Member for Kalgoorlie Kyran O’Donnell has made his position clear in opposition of the royalty hike, but Dr Nahan said the party would have a vote and everyone in the upper house would be required to follow it.

Labor needs the Liberals to support the tax in the upper house.

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