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.’
Pay up: mining and gambling companies told not to expect sympathy over Queensland tax hikes
Eden Gillespie and Joe Hinchliffe report in The Guardian (24.8.22) on the state government’s move to increase coal mining royalties in its recently announced budget.
‘Resources and gambling companies have been told to “pull their head in” and not expect public sympathy after taking high-profile actions to resist recent tax increases by the Queensland government.
‘BHP’s chief executive, Mike Henry, last week said the mining giant would pause plans for its Blackwater South coalmine because of the state’s new royalty regime, unveiled as part of the June budget.
‘Henry said the royalty changes “didn’t involve any engagement with industry” and increased risk for the company in Queensland.
‘The move came amid windfall profits for BHP and despite the fact the company sought environmental approval from the federal government for the mine on 8 June, after the Queensland government had already flagged it was on the verge of increasing royalties. The mine is not expected to open before 2029.’