QRC proposes tax-backed Maroon Fund to finance $491m in community projects

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has proposed that the Federal Government use tax revenue generated from higher coal prices to establish a $491 million Maroon Fund for Queensland community projects.

The QRC is urging community groups, charities, non-government organisations and local governments to nominate projects or programs that could be funded under the Maroon Fund.

QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the Maroon Fund should help Queenslanders receive their fair share of the surplus money it paid in this year’s federal budget.

“Essentially, we said to both sides of governments you’ll receive an extra $1 billion in company tax receipts because of higher than expected metallurgical coal prices generated out of Queensland and that money should be reinvested back where the resource wealth was created,” Macfarlane said.

“The Johnathan Thurston Academy is empowering young Queenslanders to engage in education and has asked for $1 million to enable the Academy to deliver its programs to over 50 schools across Queensland from the Torres Strait to the Gold Coast.

“Queensland Rugby League is seeking $360,000 to install defibrillators at every rugby league venue with volunteers trained to operate the life-saving device.

“Rockhampton Regional Council needs $100 million to upgrade Browne Park and $75 million for the Rockhampton Airport, the Deadly Futures Program is looking for $25,000 to educate Indigenous youth and close to $10 million is required for YourTown to build a Family Support Centre.”

In addition to the $491 million in applications, Bicycle Queensland has added to its application of $240.1 million with a request of a further $187 million to part fund five green bridges proposed by Brisbane’s new Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner.

The Queensland council says that project will cost $550 million with the council committing to pay two thirds of the amount. Bicycle Queensland has requested that the Maroon Fund finance the remaining $187 million.

Federal Treasury forecast Queensland metallurgical coal at US$120 ($169) a tonne however the steel-making coal averaged US$204 over the financial year 2017-18.

Macfarlane said he wrote to both Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Leader of the Opposition Shorten reminding them that the extra revenue they had received was the equivalent of $200 for every person living in Queensland.

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