Business as usual for miners after WA poll

Business as usual for miners after WA poll

It's business as usual for the nation's largest resources companies who will continue to enjoy the support of a new pro-business WA state government

Australia's biggest resources companies will continue to enjoy the support of a conservative West Australian government, industry commentators say.

They say WA's strong economy and Premier Colin Barnett's opposition to the federal government's mining tax will ensure that the two groups work closely together over the next four years.

The Liberals, who will once again form a coalition with the Nationals in WA, have kept all of the 24 seats they won at the 2008 election and secured at least a further seven seats at Saturday's election. CommSec chief economist Craig James said there would be no change for business in terms of the new regime.

"I would presume it's going to be business as usual for the mining sector and business as usual for the West Australian community as a whole," Mr James said.

"No doubt it wasn't just state issues that determined the result."

AMP Capital economist Shane Oliver said the new government would most likely continue down the same path.

"It's really more of the same," Mr Oliver said.

"I don't think the WA government is a negative for business, it's probably a positive."

He said WA's economy had been performing well and voters were happy with the government.

"It's relatively business friendly."

Western Australia's Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME) said it looked forward to working with the Barnett Government to implement commitments such as the replacement of the Department of Environment and Conservation with a parks authority and the expansion of the Department of Mines and Petroleum's approvals tracking scheme.

"The resource sector welcomed the premier strongly ruling out additional levies and taxes on the resource sector," CME said.

Mr Barnett has not indicated who will take on the portfolio of WA mines minister following the recent retirement of Norman Moore.

Resources companies BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Woodside Petroleum and Fortescue Metals Group declined to comment on the implication of the election result.

Meanwhile, accounting firm Pitcher Partners said while Mr Barnett had been passionate in his opposition to the mining tax, his concerns could either escalate sharply or diminish altogether as a result of the senate inquiry into the tax.

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