WA Labor’s storm in the teacup still brewing

WA Opposition Leader Shane Love has today welcomed the formation of a Senate Select Committee to investigate the Perth Mint, a move made possible by Liberal and National efforts. 

The Federal Senate today voted 39 to 22, passing a motion from Liberal Senator Dean Smith to establish the committee, which will report to the Senate in December.

Mr Love said that this was the first successful attempt of many by the West Australian and Federal Opposition to establish an inquiry into the affairs of the Perth Mint, after steadfast refusal of any Labor Government to establish a Royal Commission.  

“We believe the reason the WA Labor Government refused to investigate matters concerning the Mint is because of the possible implications for the former Premier and Minister for Mines and Petroleum.

“We worked with the Federal Opposition to bypass the State Government after they refused to investigate their own conduct and management of the Perth Mint, with the former Premier even dismissing the matter as a ‘storm in a teacup’. 

“Today the Albanese Government’s attempt to protect their State colleagues has failed, with the Nationals and Liberals in Opposition winning the fight to establish a Senate Select Committee.”

Mr Love said AUSTRAC’s appearance at last month’s Senate Estimates was proof there is more to come on matters of the Mint’s operations.

“AUSTRAC claimed in a Senate hearing last month they would not be able to complete their report in the timeframe prescribed due to ‘poor record-keeping’, adding to the list of ‘considerable concerns’.”

“This, in addition to allegations of gold-doping and breaches of federal anti-money laundering laws and US commodities laws, governance failures and reputational damage will all now come to light.”

In March this year, Mr Love wrote to the Prime Minister calling for a Royal Commission into Gold Corporation and the Perth Mint, following the allegations revealed by Four Corners in March 2023.

“The Prime Minister didn’t take the matter seriously enough to even respond.”

“The WA Labor Government and Albanese Government have hampered investigations at every opportunity – they missed their opportunity to act.”

“The Perth Mint has long been an icon for Western Australia, while Labor Governments fail to see its importance, the Nationals and Liberals want to ensure its integrity and reputation is protected.”

“Perhaps WA will finally see the long promised ‘gold-standard’ transparency.” Mr Love said.