The Victorian upper house MP Stuart Grimley has added his voice to those concerned about the proposed "gold tax" on the state's mining industry.
Mr Grimley, member for Western Victoria and the leader for Derryn Hinch's Justice Party in the state, called last week for the state government to consult further on the measure.
The 2.75 per cent gold royalty that was announced in the annual state budget in May. It is due to begin on January 1 next year.
I think the companies are quite happy to pay a royalty, but it needs to be phased in in a way that doesn't affect the industryStuart Grimley, MP for Western Victoria
In a constituency question to the Minister for Resources Jaclyn Symes, Mr Grimley accused the government of "a lack of consultation in forming the gold royalty".
He said the measure had "shocked the industry and killed off investor certainty".
In Ballarat on Monday he told The Courier he was on a fact-finding mission, talking to gold mining management.
"There is plenty of gold still out there to be found, there's plenty of money to be made," Mr Grimley said.
He said the state government should go back to the negotiating table on the policy.
"I think the companies expect and they are quite happy to pay a royalty, but it needs to be phased in in a way that doesn't affect the industry."
"It's important that you speak to the key stakeholders in the interests of fairness so they are not impacted significantly."
He said he was asking for the state treasury for more detail on how the figure of 2.75 per cent was chosen.
The Minerals Council of Australia is calling for a delay in the implementation of the tax. It says it is requesting an "exploration offset" to facilitate the search for more gold.
It also asked for a progressive royalty rate with a gold price floor to reduce impacts on Victoria's competitiveness, and a staged implementation of the royalty.
The state treasurer Tim Pallas has indicated on several occasions that the state would not be altering the policy, saying that it would ensure Victorians get a "fair return from the minerals dug from our soil."
The tax would only apply to operations that produce more than 2,500 ounces each year. Victoria is the only state previously that has not a tax
There are an estimated 220 people employed by the mine, which opened in 2005, either directly or as contractors.
Ballarat Gold Mine is part of Castlemaine Goldfields, a subsidiary of the company LionGold.
The Chinese company Yaoo Capital took a 72.57 per cent stake in LionGold last month, a move described as a "rescue package" by Ballarat Gold Mine manager Stephen Jeffers.
Have you signed up to The Courier's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.