Qld Govt’s coal royalty advertising campaign is misleading

  • Posted 19 June, 2023
  • Media Releases

19 June 2023

The Queensland Government’s taxpayer-funded advertising campaign launched this afternoon about coal royalties is highly misleading, the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) said today.

QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said Queensland resources companies have always paid substantial coal royalties to help fund government services and infrastructure such as hospitals, roads and schools and under the previous system, when coal prices went up, so did the amount of royalty taxes collected by the government.

“That’s how the system was already working to make sure every Queenslander benefited when coal prices were higher,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“For example, in the 2021-22 financial year, Queensland coal producers contributed $7.2 billion in royalties to the state budget. Under the old system, this would have risen to a record $9.6 billion in royalties in 2022-23 because of higher coal prices but the government has instead collected a staggering $15.3 billion.

“The decision by the Queensland Government last year to make our royalty taxes the highest in the world and five times NSW has placed a $100 billion pipeline of potential Queensland resources projects, and the jobs that flow from that, at risk because it has made Queensland uncompetitive.

“That loss of projects will also mean lost royalty taxes as existing mines reach end of life and there are no new mines to replace them.

“The question then will be ‘how do we pay for the government services and infrastructure such as hospitals, roads and schools?’

“There needs to be a balance between what the Queensland Government takes from the resources sector and what it leaves, to encourage companies to continue to invest in projects here.

“Taking an excessive amount of money out of the sector at the top of the commodity price cycle does not allow companies to ride out the times when prices are down, and the first thing to go when that happens is jobs are lost.”

Mr Macfarlane said the full impact of the government’s sudden decision to increase state royalty taxes will continue to intensify in five to 10 years when major new resources projects will go to other countries and states like NSW which offer much lower royalty tax regimes.

He said the resources sector was proud to be the number one economic driver of the Queensland economy and biggest export industry and regional employer, contributing $94.6 billion last year and supporting the jobs of 450,000-plus people.

“The resources sector again calls on the Government to show leadership and to sit down and work through the issue of coal royalties with us, because there is a lot at stake if the right policy decisions aren’t made for the long-term security of the Queensland economy.”