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Now is the perfect time to increase coal royalties to fund Australia’s energy transition

TJ Ryan Foundation Research Associate, John Quiggin, comments in The Guardian (17.6.22) on the Palaszczuk government's move to raise royalty rates for the state's coal mines. With criticism coming from the mining sector, the author argues that 'the usual trade-off between maximising revenue while protecting industry's long-term future no longer applies'.

'After dealing with multiple natural disasters, and facing the need for huge investment in an overloaded electricity system, it’s not surprising the Queensland government is in search of extra revenue ahead of next week’s budget. The obvious source, already flagged by the treasurer, Cameron Dick, is an increase in royalty rates for coal.

'These rates, set on a sliding scale according to the price of coal, have been frozen for the last 10 years, as promised by the Newman LNP government after a small increase in 2012. With the 10-year freeze now expired, resources groups are lobbying intensely for no changes to the existing regime. But there is a logical case for increasing royalties on coal, which is currently trading at spectacularly high prices.

'... Queensland’s focus must be on gaining additional revenue while export demand remains strong and using it to transform our energy system. The transition to a carbon-free energy system will require big capital expenditures.'

 

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