Resources companies step up to back regional communities

  • Posted 17 October, 2022
  • Media Releases

14 October 2022

Queensland minerals and energy companies are proud to have contributed $70 million towards a $100 million fund set up to improve the health and wellbeing of resources communities, the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) said today.

A second round of Resources Community Infrastructure Fund (RCIF) grants – valued at almost $53 million – was announced today by the State Government, which contributed $30 million towards the total initiative.

QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane congratulated grant winners across 15 regional communities whose funding has been approved for projects as diverse as new playgrounds and sporting facilities to a new Royal Flying Doctor Service aeromedical base in Mt Isa.

Mr Macfarlane said the $70 million contribution by resources companies to the RCIF was on top of the $28 billion spent last financial year by Queensland mining and energy operators on businesses, charities and supporting clubs.

“Anyone living in a resources community knows resources companies are traditionally very generous and proactive in coming forward to support local events and activities,” he said.

“Our industry knows how important resources communities are to our ongoing success, and also how important our sector is to regional Queensland’s future in terms of providing local, highly paid jobs and good business opportunities.

“It’s a partnership because when our industry is doing well, the first people to benefit are in the regional communities in which we operate as well as the state economy, which last year received an $84.3 billion boost from our sector.”

Mr Macfarlane said one of the negative impacts of the State Government’s decision earlier this year to lift the top coal royalty tax rate from 15 to 40 percent was less jobs and business opportunities in regional Queensland and less money for community programs.

“We’re an export industry and need to remain globally competitive to keep operating,” he said.

“The reality is we now have a royalty tax rate that’s 43 percent higher than the next nearest rate of 28 percent, which is nearly four times higher than the average highest rate globally.

“The State Government’s decision to double the amount of tax paid by coal producers this financial year compared to last year – jumping from $7.3 billion to an estimated $12.4 billion forecast by independent analysts Commodity Insights – has dramatically increased our industry’s production costs, which means less money is available to spend in Queensland.”