Queensland’s leading miners have been asked to voluntarily fund the development of infrastructure in regional communities instead of receiving an increase in state royalties.
The Queensland Government will get the fund rolling by investing $30 million to improve economic and social infrastructure across resource communities.
It has promised to freeze royalty rates until October 2024, according to the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), which backs the move to establish a fund as ‘reassurance of no royalty increase offer’ on coal and minerals for three years.
Queensland Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said the state government acknowledged and was grateful for the investment resource companies already made in the communities in which they operate.
“Now we want to supplement that investment through a partnership between government and industry to invest even more in regional communities, for the workers and their families who live there,” Trad said.
“We can do this because we have relationships with these mining companies that stretch back up to half a century, and because we are always looking for new and better ways to deliver better infrastructure to our resource communities.”
QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane is asking the council’s member companies to contribute $70 million to the fund over three years, stating “the industry will respond to the government on its proposal as soon as possible.”
Macfarlane said increasing royalties would be increasing taxes and an attack on the resources sector that supports one in eight jobs in Queensland – the equivalent of 315,000 full-time jobs.
“The Palaszczuk Government is already on track to receive more than $5 billion in resource royalties this financial year – a record and almost $1 billion more than they expected from their current budget,” he added.
“Any increase in royalty taxes is a disincentive for investment in regional areas and would mean lost job opportunities for all Queenslanders.”