PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The resources sector’s contribution to the Queensland state Budget is expected to soar to more than A$20-billion between now and July 2023.
Total mineral royalties reached A$4.32-billion in the 2018 financial year.
The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) on Friday noted that every person in the resources sector was expected to generate more than A$72 000 over the next five years for the government to reinvest in vital services and infrastructure.
“These royalty payments are in addition to more than A$1-billion per week the industry generates in exports. Indeed, we deliver almost 80% of Queensland’s total overseas trade in goods,” said QRC CEO Ian Macfarlane.
However, he noted that dramatic changes in policies, including changes to the rates of royalties and applying additional layers of regulation, could risk future investment in the sector.
“It would be a grave mistake, and a risk to its own projections of A$20-billion in royalties, for the government to revisit these rates. There is strong international competition for investment in resource projects and market share for resource commodities.
“Higher prices for prized commodities, such as metallurgical coal, only opens the door to less attractive deposits overseas being developed and less competitive suppliers being more aggressive in our traditional markets. Queensland cannot afford to be complacent about recent reports that US suppliers are seeking to make in-roads into our well-established Japanese markets due to supply concerns as a result of actions by Aurizon.”
Macfarlane added that additional regulatory burden, particularly implemented with little or no consultation, would also add further costs and deter international investment looking for stable, safe and secure projects to develop resources.
Meanwhile, Macfarlane has lauded the state government’s decision to invest A$21.7-billion on infrastructure over the next four years.
“The opportunity for Queensland with increased overseas demand, particularly for increased spending on infrastructure, renewable energy projects and electric vehicles, is for our resources industry to grow – to increase jobs to more than 300 000, to increase exports to more than A$60-billion and, of course, to maintain the increased revenue flow from royalties into the state government to the benefit for all Queenslanders.”