The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) today called on the Palaszczuk Government to rethink a third controversial state tax hurting Queenslanders.
This follows last week’s decision by the State Government to review how it applies payroll tax to GP clinics, on top of its reversal of plans to charge a new land tax on interstate properties.
QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said it’s time for the government to rethink its decision to lift Queensland’s coal royalty taxes to the highest rates in the world.
The decision has already forced the cancellation of billions of dollars of new resources projects in Queensland, and there are concerns this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Mr Macfarlane the situation requires urgent review by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Treasurer Cameron Dick before more damage is done to Queensland’s reputation as a safe and reliable place to invest in resources projects.
Last month, the world’s biggest mining company BHP confirmed it will not support any significant new investment in Queensland because of the new royalty taxes, and another large-scale miner Glencore has cited higher royalties as a factor in its decision to shelve its $2 billion Valeria project in Central Queensland.
Mr Macfarlane said the people of Queensland desperately need the Palaszczuk Government to look at the royalties’ issue with fresh eyes before more projects are cancelled.
“This short-sighted decision by the government has placed at risk a $105 billion pipeline of future energy and resources projects in Queensland according to an independent report commissioned by QRC last year,” he said.
“There is a lot on the line. If we lose more projects, that is going to cost more jobs and that means less money flowing through the state economy.
“We need the government to sit down with our industry, like it has done with the AMAQ and RACGP on the GP payroll tax issue, so it can get a better understanding of why this new tax is causing companies to pull back on investing in Queensland.
“The government doesn’t seem to understand that imposing the world’s highest royalty tax rates on our coal producers is affecting future investment in all Queensland commodities, not just coal.
“This decision has jeopardised 450,000-plus Queensland jobs, thousands of businesses and the future of regional communities who rely on the continuing prosperity of our sector to survive.
“As the number one contributor to the Queensland economy, number one regional employer and number one export industry, our industry should have been consulted before new costs of this magnitude were imposed on our sector.
“We are calling on the Palaszczuk Government to step in and do the right thing by Queenslanders and review a decision of its own making, before the damage done to the state economy is irreversible.”