PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Queensland’s royalty rates have emerged as the greatest area of concern for Queensland miners in a new survey by the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).
The QRC survey found an overwhelming majority of company CEOs believe their projects and the creation of thousands of jobs from those projects would be less likely to proceed if the state government changed the rate of royalties.
QRC CEO Ian Macfarlane said when asked if royalty uncertainty affected the likelihood of Queensland projects proceeding, 77% of respondents agreed.
“The government has a lot to thank the resources industry for when it comes to jobs. Our sector continues to do the heavy lifting with employment generating a new job every 57 minutes since the Queensland election in November 2017. Why anyone would want to stop the clock on this strong job creation by creating uncertainty in the resources industry is impossible to understand?”
The QRC and trade union CFMEU have jointly called on the state government to rule out changes to royalties.
“There could not be a worse time to create uncertainty for investment in Queensland. The state’s unemployment rate is now 5.9% and Queensland is the leader in unemployment on the east coast when it can and should be a leader in job creation.
“Queensland added 5 219 jobs in April with the resources sector contributing around one-in-four of those jobs, or 25%, after creating 10 000 new jobs in 2018.”
Macfarlane pointed out on Thursday that the state government is expected to collect a record royalty revenue of some A$5.3-billion in 2018/19.
“There is a pipeline of more than A$60-billion in resource projects across Queensland. The government should be encouraging these projects through to development. The threat of changing the rate of royalties, already among the world’s highest, will only discourage investment and discourage employment in Queensland,” he said.
The QRC survey also found that more than 85% of companies responded that Queensland would be more attractive for investment if royalty rates were fixed for the life of the project.