Massive coal windfall delivers a Christmas bonus for the regions

Queensland’s new coal royalties will deliver an extra $2 billion for the State Government this financial year as total coal royalty revenue soars to more than $10 billion in a massive windfall from the global surge in coal and gas prices and the Palaszczuk Government’s hotly contested royalty hikes.

Dec 07, 2022, updated Dec 07, 2022
Treasurer Cameron Dick. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)

Treasurer Cameron Dick. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)

In its Budget earlier this year, Treasury forecast coal royalties at $5.4 billion for 2022-23 of which $765 million would come from its hotly contested coal new royalty tiers.

In its update today, the Goverment will announce coal royalties of $10.7 billion of which $2.9 billion would come from the new tiers and the rest from the surging price for coal and gas.

It sets up a significant boost for regional Queensland with the Government pledging to allocate the funds to infrastructure, health, worker transition and a critical minerals investment fund in the regions.

The Government analysis shows that the difference in the uplift from the new royalty tiers between the Budget forecasts and today’s estimates was about $2.1 billion.

Petroleum royalties for LNG are also $600 million higher than forecast in the Budget and $1 billion higher over the forward estimates.

Total royalties from coal and gas were expected to deliver $27.4 billion over four years, an increase of $6.6 billion on the Budget estimates.

“As coal prices return to more normal levels beyond the current financial year, the dividend from the new tiers is forecast to fall accordingly, delivering an average $153 million each year across the remaining three years of the forward estimates,” Treasury has said in its analysis.

Treasurer Cameron Dick said the windfall would be spent in regional Queensland with a share of the funding going towards hospitals in Moranbah, Mackay and Townsville.

“We’ll also set aside $3 billion in long term assets held by the Consolidated Fund, dedicated to infrastructure in regional Queensland,” Dick said.

“This shows that coal royalties are worth fighting for, delivering a fair share for Queenslanders.

“We’ve secured a big win for Queensland by securing a share of the windfall profits made by coal companies.

“These additional funds will be important to ensure Queenslanders are well prepared for the tougher times ahead.”

The coal industry has complained loudly about the hikes claiming they would destroy profits for their businesses in Queensland and investment would move elsewhere.

The Government said a further $1 billion of the funds would go to government-owned corporations to support priority regional infrastructure. Another $150 million would be spent on workers within the coal fired power stations to help them transition to new jobs. Another $200 million would go to a regional economic futures fund as part of the previously announced energy and jobs plan.

About $75 million would be spent on common user infrastructure to support development of the critical minerals fund and $120 million would go to the Resources Community Infrastructure Fund with a focus on spending in the coal fields.

About $100 million would be used by the Critical Minerals Investment Fund for equity stakes in companies.





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