The News South Wales Government is risking regional jobs by eliminating transport costs as an acceptable deduction in the calculation of coal royalties, News South Wales Minerals Council chief executive Nikki Williams told MINING DAILY.
“The exclusion of transportation costs as an allowable deduction from coal mine royalty assessments is estimated to cost industry a further $88 million dollars a year and this is money that could be invested in regional jobs, communities and economies,” Williams said.
The announcement to suspend allowable transport deductions came from the NSW Government in the November 2008 mini-budget.
Williams said that allowing all companies to deduct transport costs meant that companies further away from export services could offset their travel costs and better compete with companies closer to the port.
“The transport deduction has traditionally provided a level playing field for mining operations regardless of their distance from site to port,” she said.
“This is an important factor for the cost competitiveness of mines.
“Reinstating transport costs will remove the inequitable impact on mining operations which are located further away from export facilities.”
Williams welcomed the NSW Government’s decision to provide $20 million over two years to assist employment opportunities in the Western Coal Fields and Gunnedah region, but says it does not make up for other poor decisions.
“We welcome the package as recognition of the heavy lifting the mining industry does in terms of job creation in those regions, however, it does not adequately address the significant impact of the Government’s decision to remove transport,” she said.