Royalty certainty essential to protect Qld economy from COVID-19 impacts

A legislated 10-year hold on the rate of royalties applied by the State Government to Queensland’s resource commodities will create more jobs and strengthen COVID-19 recovery efforts, according to the Queensland Resources Council.

QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said maintaining royalty rates – already Australia’s highest – at current levels for the next 10 years sends a clear message to investors around the globe that ‘Queensland is open for business’.

“Before COVID-19 hit, the Queensland Government confirmed the royalty rates on coal and metals would remain stable until 2022, and for petroleum until 2025, which the resources industry welcomed,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“Given the importance of the resources sector in leading the State in its economic recovery, the QRC welcomes today’s announcement by the LNP that it would legislate a 10-year freeze on royalty rates until 2030, because it’s exactly what Queensland needs right now.

“As the peak representative body for Queensland’s explorers and producers of coal, metals and gas and supplier companies, the QRC calls on all members of State Parliament to support the LNP’s proposal to give the industry the confidence to play its part in Queensland’s COVID-19 recovery.”

Mr Macfarlane said the resources industry had been through a period of turmoil and upheaval with Queensland’s royalty regime, to the sector’s detriment.

“We know Queensland’s regulatory uncertainty has already impacted investment decisions for resource projects which operate for decades, and benefit our state economy for even longer,” he said.

“A decade of royalty certainty is the shot in the arm the Queensland economy needs as we unite and recover from COVID-19.”

Mr Macfarlane said as Queensland’s largest export industry, the resources sector is committed to paying its fair share of royalties, and the LNP proposal would lock in that definition of fair for a decade.

“Without new investment, jobs, exports and royalties the Queensland Government will simply not be in a position to finance a COVID-19 recovery,” he said.

“Before COVID-19, the Queensland resources sector employed more than 372,000 Queenslanders and generated $76 billion in economic activity across the State, creating more than $5 billion in government royalty revenue.

“Queensland needs to secure every job and every dollar, if we are to bounce back from COVID-19 as quickly and as strongly as possible,” Mr Macfarlane said.

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