PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has called on the Australian government to penalise states that do not develop resources because of pressure from foreign-funded green activists.
Speaking at the Queensland Media Club, QRC CEO Ian Macfarlane noted that both Queensland and Western Australia were currently being disadvantaged by having resource royalties counted against the Grants Commission per capita distribution of the goods and services tax (GST).
“States that do the heavy lifting by supporting job creating resource projects and supplying the electricity market shouldn’t be worse off,” Macfarlane said.
“Politicians can’t keep ignoring the science and running away at the first sign of chanting and placard waving from green activists. If you want to fall to the ideology and expect other states to provide your energy needs, then the federal government should cut your GST distribution.”
Macfarlane noted that in resource-rich countries such as Canada, royalty income was discounted by 50% before it is added to the equalisation calculations.
“If such a system was adopted here, Queensland would gain about an extra A$100-million a year, which is money in the bank to pay for infrastructure and services to make our state an even better place to live.”
Data from the Minerals Council of Australia has previously shown that over the last 15 years, the total amount of yearly GST revenues collected by the federal government increased by 124% to A$59.7-billion. However, over that period, the amount of GST distributed to Western Australia has fallen from A$2.5-billion in 2001/2 to A$1.9-billion in 2016/17.
The federal government in April launched an inquiry into the impact of the horizontal fiscal equalisation, which underpins the distribution of GST revenues to the states and territories.