Treasurer close to landing $100m mining pact

The Government and mining sector are poised to make a deal on the long-waited community fund.

Mar 03, 2020, updated Mar 03, 2020
Rio Tinto has entered a deal with the world's largest steel producer. AAP Image/Rio Tinto)

Rio Tinto has entered a deal with the world's largest steel producer. AAP Image/Rio Tinto)

The State Government is poised to get a deal from the mining industry on its $100 million infrastructure fund.

The Government wants the industry to voluntarily add $70 million to the fund with the benefit of not having a royalty increase for three years. The remaining $30 million would come from the Government.

The money would be used to develop critical infrastructure in the state’s coal communities.

But as early as January the industry had not contributed a cent because of concerns over the complexity of the fund and the delivery of the money to communities.

Treasurer Jackie Trad was asked if she could rule out royalty increases for the gas and coal sectors in this year’s Budget, due in April.

“I can absolutely rule out there will be no further increases in gas royalties in this Budget,’’ Trad said.

But the Treasurer’s response left the door open for royalty increases for the coal sector, a result Trad refused to be drawn on.

“Those conversations are going on very well right now,” she said.

“I am not going to prejudice the conversations I am having with the mineral resources companies around the space of more funding for regional coal communities for infrastructure and royalty increases.

“Those negotiations are moving very well. I am very pleased with them and I hope to be in a position to make an announcement very soon.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the resources industry had been working in good faith with the Queensland Government.

“QRC proposed a structure for the fund in November, and QRC and its members have participated in several rounds of very constructive meetings with Queensland Government officials this year after the Government initiated consultation in January.”

“QRC looks forward to concluding the arrangements for the fund and associated royalty freeze for coal and minerals as soon as possible, to deliver investor and community certainty.”

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