Budget deceiving Australians about mining benefits: Barnett

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett has criticised the federal budget, saying it relies too much on mining.

"In states like Western Australia and Queensland there is going to be strong economic growth because of the resources industry but I cannot see that translating into tangible benefits for the people in the suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne," he said.

"(Wayne Swan) seems to be implying to the people of Sydney and Melbourne that they’re going to be getting all these extraordinary benefits from the mining boom."

"If they’re listening or watching, I can tell them right now, they won’t.

“The benefits will flow and they’ll primarily be in WA and Queensland.

"I think this budget is deceiving the Australian people."

The Premier has accused the Gillard government of exaggerating the benefits that will come from the state’s mining industry, because much of the forecast $3.5 billion for the next two years is based on the anticipated mining boom.

Barnett has labelled the budget mean and deceptive, and says the carbon and mining taxes will damage the sector and prevent it from reaching the anticipated surplus.

"It’s strange that the federal treasurer Wayne Swan put so much emphasis on the mining boom and yet measures in this budget will damage the mining boom."

On Monday, federal shadow resource spokesman, Ian McFarlane slammed the mining tax proposed by the Gillard government, saying it underpins the budget and is causing other policies to fall apart.

Barnett did welcome the additional funding set for mental health services and moves to attract 16 000 more skilled migrants to regional areas, which would include mining projects.

But he says the budget is not focusing enough on getting young people into skilled work.

"My disappointment is that there has not been specific attention to encouraging Australians, particularly young Australians, with skills to move across the country where the work is," he said.

Swan set out a $3 billion package over six years to keep up with the demand for skilled workers during the mining boom and the decision to fast-track 130,00 apprentices.

The Western Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s chief economist told the ABC they will be waiting to see if the good intentions result in good outcomes for employment.

"We’re now waiting to see the detail behind those initiatives to determine whether they do in fact build the participation levels of the workforce and the productivity as well," he said.

The Federal Budget has unveiled some interesting changes for the mining industry, and reveals the investment from mining companies in the next financial year will be eight times higher than the previous one.

Image: News Ltd

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