OPINION: Resources Roundups On the Road

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One of the highlights of the Queensland Resources Council’s calendar each year is the series of Resources Roundups we hold as industry networking events, and to highlight the achievements and contribution of our sector to a wider audience.

In April, we held a Roundup in Brisbane to kick off our 2023 program. While we all know the heavy lifting in the Queensland resources sector is done at regional and remote mine sites across the state, Brisbane is known as Queensland’s biggest mining town, such is the importance of resources to our capital city.

It was great to see over a hundred people attend the event. While they included people from all parts of the resources sector, the focus at our Brisbane Resources Roundup was on the gas industry which, like the coal sector, is facing serious challenges because of misguided government policies.

It’s important we take every opportunity to inform people of the threat to future investment and jobs in resources through policies that make Queensland less competitive when it comes to attracting international investors.

The misguided policies include the Queensland Government’s snap decision to impose the world’s highest coal royalty tax, which will be one of the big issues discussed when our Resources Roundups moved to Moranbah and Rockhampton in May and June.

New figures show just how far off the mark the Government has been in its estimates of how much the increased in royalty rates would generate.

When the new royalty regime was introduced, we were told it would raise an extra $800 million this financial year. As the end of the 22/23 year approaches, that estimate will be out by 600 per cent.

Based on the Resources and Energy Quarterly report prepared by the Office of the Chief Economist, which says coal exports will reach a record $128 billion this year, the State Government stands to collect more than $5 billion than it initially forecast through the coal royalty tax increase.

All up, coal royalties will exceed an astonishing $13 billion this financial year.

Queensland coal producers would have contributed a record $8.3 billion in royalties without the introduction of the world’s highest royalty tax.

The QRC argued from the beginning that the previous royalty regime was working as it was intended and that’s been confirmed in these new figures.

Instead, we now have major mining companies indicating they will pause investment decisions in new projects because of the uncertainty created by the Queensland Government’s new royalty tax.

In a recent interview with The Australian newspaper, outgoing Japanese Ambassador to Australia Shingo Yamagami warned “there shouldn’t be any misunderstanding as to the depths of concern held by Japanese companies” over recent Queensland Federal government policy decisions affecting the resources and energy sector.

To finish on a brighter note, I’d like to thank all those who submitted nominations for the QRC Indigenous Awards.

The Awards will be held in Brisbane on June 20 and I look forward to the opportunity to recognise the great contribution of Indigenous women and men to the resources sector.

Ian Macfarlane

Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive

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