More uncertainty for Queensland resources companies

22 August 2023

Click here for photo of QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane.

Investor confidence in Queensland’s resources sector will be further shaken by today’s extraordinary threat by Treasurer Cameron Dick to revoke coal mining leases, the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) said today.

The QRC has repeatedly drawn attention to industry concerns about the State Government’s snap decision in last year’s state budget to introduce the world’s highest royalty taxes on coal producers, which have made the state uncompetitive for future resources investment.

QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the huge increase in state royalty taxes was imposed without industry consultation or detailed consideration about the long-term impact on future Queensland jobs and investment.

“Today’s comments by the Treasurer will further erode investor confidence in Queensland,” he said.

“Mining companies operate in Queensland to the highest standards and make valuable contributions to our economy.

“We shouldn’t take for granted that Queensland will always have a strong resources sector to rely on if policies are introduced which make us less competitive and less attractive to investors.

“All Queenslanders will lose out if resources companies move their focus to mining projects in other states and countries because of growing uncertainty about the Queensland Government’s attitude towards the mining sector.”

Mr Macfarlane said resources companies take a long-term view on where to invest in new projects because of the scale of capital required and length of time involved.

“Any sudden and extreme change in government policy, like we saw in Queensland last year, acts as a major deterrent to future investment,” he said.

“We know other companies are also reviewing their investment and employment plans because of the new royalty regime.

“Once that tide of investment starts to move away from Queensland, it will be very, very difficult to turn it back. This will cost thousands of future jobs and business opportunities and threatens Queensland’s economic security.”

Mr Macfarlane said Queensland’s resources sector is the driving force behind the state’s economy, contributing $94.6 billion in 2021-22 and supporting more than 450,000 jobs.

“This economic benefit is the result of decades of investment from companies who have been long-term members and supporters of regional communities across the state,” he said.

“It’s time the State Government took this situation seriously because the future of every Queenslander, particularly in regional communities, will look very different without the resources sector underpinning the economy.”