The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has welcomed the commitment from the LNP Opposition for a 10 year royalties freeze and for added certainty in the approvals process, which will support future investment and jobs in the resources sector, particularly in regional Queensland.
QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the pledge sent an important signal to investors, and he urged the Palaszczuk Government to make the same commitment.
“This week’s budget showed once again how important our resources sector is for all Queenslanders. The Government will collect $5.2 billion in royalty taxes from resources this year alone and another $5.45 billion next year,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“These tax returns are higher than ever and are bankrolling the Queensland budget. Without resources royalty taxes, the Palaszczuk Government’s $841 million surplus this year would be a $4.36 billion deficit.
“With export gas prices falling sharply over the past twelve months, there is no case for making changes to the system of collecting royalty taxes, least of all on gas.
“At current market prices, Queensland already has the highest rates of coal royalty taxes of any state in Australia. This means that when prices are high all Queenslanders benefit from greater returns.
“A 10 year royalties freeze for all commodities means investors can make their decisions for the next tranche of projects with a clear and stable set of rules.
“If Queensland gets a reputation as a state where the rules can change overnight without consultation, it will erode our reputation as a safe place to invest. Regional Queenslanders will pay the biggest price through lost opportunities and lost jobs.
“QRC also welcomes the LNP’s commitment to use royalty tax returns from the Galilee Basin to invest in Queensland infrastructure. We urge both the LNP and the Palaszczuk Government to make sure regional Queenslanders get their fair share of the returns from the wealth they help create for all of us.
“QRC was proud to join with our regional partners, regional Mayors and representatives from other primary industries such as farming and fishing to rally in Brisbane last week to fight for that fair share.
“QRC is pleased to see a commitment to reappoint the Resources Investment Commissioner, which should have a permanent base with Trade and Investment Queensland. Resources make up about 80 per cent of Queensland’s export trade, so our trade partnerships are more important than ever. The role of Resources Investment Commissioner shows our international partners the value we put on our trading relationships.
“When the resources sector is strong, all of Queensland benefits. Investments in schools, hospitals, regional highways and Cross River Rail are dependent on the returns from a strong resources sector.
“QRC urges both sides of the Queensland Parliament to work with the resources sector to deliver the best outcomes for our entire state.”