THE Queensland Resources Council wants the upcoming Federal Government’s Budget and the Opposition’s Budget Reply to commit to reinvesting back into Queensland the extra $1 billion in company tax that will flow into Canberra due to higher metallurgical coal prices.
QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said based on Federal Treasury’s calculations, the higher than projected metallurgical coal price would provide an extra $1.2 billion for the balance of this financial year and next financial year (2019-20).
Mr Macfarlane said he urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to ensure they committed the extra $1 billion to a Maroon Fund.
“Queensland produces the lion’s share of Australia’s metallurgical coal. Queenslanders deserve this billion-dollar unbudgeted windfall reinvested back into their State, where the coal was produced and exported from,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“For every Queenslander, that extra $1 billion counts. Indeed, that extra revenue is the equivalent of $200 for every man, woman and child living in Queensland.”
Prior to Christmas last year, Mr Macfarlane said Federal Treasury projected: “If the metallurgical coal price remained elevated for two quarters longer than currently assumed, before falling immediately to US$120 per tonne FOB, nominal GDP could be around $2.5 billion higher than forecast in 2018-19 and $3.5 billion higher in 2019-20. This would have a flow on impact to company tax receipts estimated at around $0.2 billion in 2018-19 and $1.0 billion in 2019-20.”*
The average metallurgical coal price this year has been US$204 per tonne.
“I am urging community groups, charities, local councils and other industries to nominate their project and cause for the Maroon Fund,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“The continuing drought and recent flooding rains have demonstrated the steely resolve of Queenslanders, but it has created a lot of need. That should be a priority for the Maroon Fund.
“So should important services such as health and education to support the work in our hospitals and in our classrooms.”
Mr Macfarlane said QRC would forward all Maroon Fund funding requests received by Budget Day on April 2 to both Mr Morrison and Mr Shorten.
“QRC will have no role in their selection, but we will ensure both leaders have these funding requests. I’m sure Queenslanders will be interested before the upcoming Federal election to know where the $1 billion goes,” he said.
“Perhaps the Palaszczuk Government will fill out a form," Mr Macfarlane said. "This $1B would be on top of the more than $5 billion the Qld Government collects from royalty taxes from the resources sector this financial year.”
The Maroon Fund initiative form can be downloaded at https://www.qrc.org.au/nominations/maroon-fund/
Mr Macfarlane said the resources sector was already doing its bit to keep Queensland strong – making a contribution of more than $62 billion to the State’s economy or one in five dollars, supporting more than 316,000 full-time equivalent jobs or one in eight jobs in the Queensland workforce, generating more than 80 percent of the State’s record $80 billion annual export sales and working with 1260 community organisations.
*See page 33 of Link to the 2018-19 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook https://budget.gov.au/2018-19/myefo/myefo_2018-19.pdf
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