Resources sector launches campaign to alert Qld to royalty tax threat

23 November 2022

The state’s resources sector will today launch a large-scale media campaign to warn Queenslanders about the coming fall-out on jobs and investment from the state government’s new, higher royalty tax regime.

Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the Keep Queensland Competitive campaign is on behalf of the state’s entire resources sector, not just coal.

“The Queensland Government has severely damaged the state’s international reputation as a reliable place for resources investment by more than doubling the coal royalty tax rate to the highest in the world, without warning and without consultation,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“Queensland’s top tier rate is now an incredible five times that of New South Wales.

“The global resources market is extremely competitive, and companies have plenty of other regions and countries in which to invest their capital if a particular government decides to start imposing exorbitant royalty tax rates.

“The Queensland Government’s short-sighted decision to use the resources sector as a cash cow to plug up budget holes is already having an impact.

“Our major trading partner, Japan, and companies as big as BHP and Peabody Energy, have already publicly questioned their future investment in new projects in Queensland, putting tens of thousands of jobs across our industry’s supply chain at risk.

“These won’t be the only companies to move their investment focus away from Queensland, with the royalty tax increase now being discussed in boardrooms around the world,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“Concerns about the Queensland Government’s attitude towards resources development are already spreading to other sectors like critical minerals because many of the same companies that invest in traditional commodities like coal, metals and gas are also major investors in this emerging and important sector.

Mr Macfarlane said the QRC’s member-funded advertising campaign will let Queenslanders know exactly how the royalty tax hike is affecting resources companies, and why it’s placing jobs and future projects at risk.

“Investment in resources projects takes a lot of time and a lot of capital, and companies will simply look elsewhere if they think the goalposts can be moved at any time without notice,” he said.

“Thanks to good management, the resources sector carried the Queensland economy through two years of global COVID disruption and was set to continue underpinning our economic resilience through the challenges ahead.

“It is inconceivable any government would risk that by imposing an unprecedented tax increase on a sector that delivers so much stability and economic opportunity for Queensland.

“Last financial year, before the new royalty regime was introduced, royalties from the coal industry were nearly three times the original budget forecast at over $7 billion, helping pay for roads, hospitals, teachers, police, and other essential government services.

“We are calling on the Queensland Government to properly engage with the resources sector, so we can work together to continue supporting jobs and the economy of this great state by encouraging investment in new projects, instead of forcing companies to go elsewhere.

“This is about protecting jobs, investment and a strong future for Queensland.”