Queensland’s coal exports have delivered an extra $2.9 billion in royalties to the state’s budget, according to its mid-financial year update.
According to Treasurer Cameron Dick, Queensland has avoided the long lockdowns that have occurred in other states, and the latest budget update demonstrates the marked improvement in its economic performance since the budget in June.
Dick said the $8 billion increase in revenues was driven in part by a one-off surge in the value of Queensland’s coal exports.
“While this price surge is significant, Queensland Treasury advises it will be temporary,” the Treasurer said.
“We also expect the Commonwealth Grants Commission to penalise Queensland for these increased royalties in future years by reducing our share of GST revenue.
“So we are taking a fiscally responsible approach to this increase revenue by setting aside $2.5 billion as a buffer against adverse GST changes.”
Queensland Resources Council (QRC) chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the announcement that $2.5 billion of this royalty windfall will be invested in a long-term asset to earn more money for Queensland – with the remaining $400 million to fund essential government services – is a smart move by the State Government.
“I congratulate the Treasurer on his prudent decision to invest today’s royalty dividends to help fund Queensland’s future growth and development,” Macfarlane said.
“Queensland coal producers pay the highest royalty rates in the world, so it’s good to see these royalties being managed responsibly to maximise the benefits to Queensland in the long-term.
“Commodity price rises are a win-win for our sector and for every Queenslander – as prices go up, so too does the amount the resources industry automatically pays in royalties to the State Government.”
Macfarlane said the QRC is keen to hear more details about the purpose of the new investment fund and will advocate for resources communities to benefit from royalties generated in regional Queensland.
“Copper, aluminium and gold prices have also been very high this year, so other Queensland resources are also contributing to increasing state royalties,” he said.