Mr GRIMLEY (Western Victoria) (12:47): My question is to the Minister for Resources. In the 2019–20 state budget the government announced a 2.75 per cent gold royalty which comes into effect on 1 January 2020. Western Victoria houses an extremely competitive and innovative mining industry. However, larger mines, such as the Ballarat goldmine, are concerned that a 2.75 per cent royalty could potentially delay investment decisions and result in job losses. While Victorian miners understand that gold is a resource owned collectively by Victorians and mines, mines such as the Ballarat goldmine are concerned that the royalty has to be paid even in years when a mine operates at a loss. Is the minister able to provide any insight into whether the government is considering removing the requirement for the gold royalty to be paid even when the mine operates at an annual loss?

Mr GRIMLEY (Western Victoria) (12:49): Thank you, Minister, for your response. I shall relay that back to the mine. I fear that you may have already addressed this briefly in your substantive answer. However, can you indicate if the royalty might be able to be gradually phased in and progressively indexed to fluctuating gold prices or annual turnover so that any negative impacts on jobs or regional mines are minimised?