Commit to stable royalties, Roche

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche told MINING DAILY the State Government needs to commit to a stable royalty and tax regime to win over voters at the upcoming election.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche told MINING DAILY the State Government needs to commit to a stable royalty and tax regime to win over voters at the upcoming election.

“The Queensland resources sector needs to learn from the major parties contesting the 21 March election how the next Queensland Government will play its part in easing the cost squeeze on companies,” Roche said.

“There simply can be no repeat of the 2008 opportunistic grab for extra royalties and the imposition of levies such as the health and safety tax on mining.”

Last year, the rate for coal over the value of a $100 a tonne jumped from 7% to 10%.

Royalty from coal and other minerals delivered $1.4 billion to state government coffers in 2007-08.

About $3.6 billion was forecast in 2008-09 despite a 25% fall in coal prices over the last 8 months.

The Bligh Government refuses to rule out another increase in mining royalties.

Treasurer Andrew Fraser said he could not guarantee that tax would not rise in the budget if conditions worsened.

However, opposition leader Lawrence Springborg told journalists he will rule out a tax increase if an LNP government is elected.

Roche said the industry is simply not in a position to keep paying and paying.

“ABS figures show that over the past five years, open cut mining costs have sky-rocketed by 60% while commodity prices have slumped by 50% or more in recent months.”

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