QUEENSLAND Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk should immediately cancel her planned trade trip to Japan and stay in Queensland to end the uncertainty about royalty taxes which could cost jobs in the resources sector, Queensland Resources Council (QRC) Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said.
“To be frank, there’s no point to a trade mission to any of our valued trading markets while there is uncertainty that new taxes will be imposed on resources," Mr Macfarlane said.
“Unless Annastacia Palaszczuk can give a straight answer that no, there won’t be any increases in royalty tax rates in the upcoming budget, she should cancel the trip.
“Japan is one of our most important trading partners and a big investor in mining in Queensland. They deserve better than the mixed messages the Premier and the Treasurer are sending which are causing concern to Japanese investors and coal buyers both here and in Japan.
“Queensland relies on investment from overseas, particularly Japan, to grow our resources sector and create more jobs in regional Queensland and create more wealth for all Queenslanders.
"Japan has long been a foundation customer for Queensland and has invested in mines, ports and rail and helping us build our most valuable export industry based on long term relationships. We need to be sending consistent, positive messages to those investors that they are welcome here and that the investment climate here is stable.
“Queensland is also a trading state. About 80 percent of our $80 billion export trade comes from resources, including our high quality coal exports," Mr Macfarlane said.
“Our world-class commodities will already deliver $5.3 billion in royalty taxes to the state budget, to build roads, schools and hospitals.
“By putting up taxes the State Government risks undermining our state’s biggest asset -- mining jobs.
“Increasing royalty tax rates would undermine the competitiveness of our resources sector and make our commodities less attractive compared to other nations and even other Australian states like New South Wales.
“Job security through resources projects is a top priority for Queenslanders, especially in our regions. They sent that message in no uncertain terms at the ballot box last weekend.
“The LNP has committed to no increases for royalty taxes through its first term if it wins the next state election. That would mean stable royalty tax rates through until at least 2024.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk and Jackie Trad must do the same.The QRC will work with both sides of Parliament on policies that deliver a long term, stable future for the resources sector and the 315,000 Queenslanders who work in or with the sector.
“The Premier has been a strong advocate for coal in Japan. She and Minister Anthony Lynham secured the $1 billion Byerwen coal mine, she soothed concerns in Japan about last year’s dispute over rail access for coal and over the new financial assurance scheme. I fear a lot of that work will be undone without an assurance on royalties.
“The Premier should convene a resources specific delegation to our key trading partners but only when there is a clear message of support for resources projects. Until then the Premier should stay home and end the uncertainty the Government has created.
“There must be a clear commitment to no new royalty taxes and a rock solid commitment to a clear and independent approvals process through the Coordinator General that applies to all projects," he said.
“The Queensland Parliament can also voice its unequivocal support for regional mining jobs by rejecting the Greens Bill which wants to ban all mining in the Galilee Basin.
“Our jobs and our prosperity as a state depend upon a prosperous resources sector and when resources prosper, all of Queensland prospers.”
DENITA WAWN, CEO of Master Builders Australia has welcomed the announcement of the new Federal Government Ministry by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“It is particularly good news for our industry that industrial relations will be overseen by the Attorney General Christian Porter MP in Cabinet and that the Assistant Treasurer will be responsible for the housing portfolio," Ms Wawn said.
“Master Builders fought hard at the election on housing tax and the need to keep the ABCC to stop construction union bullying and we appreciate the Prime Minister’s special mention of both matters in his remarks today,” she said.
“The Prime Minister’s move to ensure that the nation’s chief law officer now has charge of enforcing the rule of law on construction sites will be welcomed by builders and tradies who heaved a sigh of relief that the return of the Morrison Government meant they would not have to face the surge in bullying promised by construction unions if Labor had been elected.
“The housing industry plays a vital role in building a strong economy. Last week Master Builders called for the Minister of Housing to also have a senior economic portfolio and we welcome the appointment of Michael Sukkar MP as Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Housing. We look forward to working closely with him on his return to this role,” she said.
“Infrastructure, urban infrastructure, population and cities are key engines for economic growth. It’s a positive signal that they will be overseen by the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for Population, Cities and Urban infrastructure.
“It is also good to see the small business and vocational education and apprentices will have energetic champions in Senator Michaelia Cash and Steve Irons MP, these are both important to our industry,
“Bringing together Energy and Emissions Reductions in one ministry makes sense and we look forward to working with Angus Taylor MP,” Ms Wawn said.
THE Law Council has welcomed the announcement of the Federal Government’s new ministry and looks forward to a collaborative, consultative relationship with new and returning Ministers.
Law Council president Arthur Moses SC today congratulated re-appointed Attorney-General Christian Porter, who also adds Industrial Relations and Leader of the House to his portfolio. Mr Moses also congratulated the new Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, the first Aboriginal Australian appointed to the portfolio.
“We look forward to working with the government and the 46th Parliament in an honest and productive relationship for the benefit of all Australians and the rule of law,” Mr Moses said.
“The role of First Law Officer is an important portfolio. It is critical that Attorneys-General enjoy a respectful and robust relationship with the national legal profession that is built on trust and transparency. I congratulate Mr Porter on his re-appointment and look forward to continuing to work with him to promote the rule of law and administration of justice.
“Access to justice through increased legal assistance funding, securing adequate resources for our courts and establishing a Commonwealth Integrity Commission, Federal Judicial Commission and transparent judicial appointments process are our key policy concerns. The Law Council will continue to advocate to the Attorney-General for their prompt implementation.”
Mr Moses described Mr Wyatt’s appointment to the Indigenous Australians portfolio as a defining moment in Australian politics.
“For the first time in the history of our federation, a person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent been appointed as Minister for Indigenous Australians – this is a pivotal decision by the Prime Minister and one that will undoubtedly benefit all First Nations Australians,” Mr Moses said.
“Establishing an Indigenous Voice to Parliament is a priority for the Law Council and we look forward to working with Mr Wyatt to ensure the future vision captured by the Uluru Statement of the Heart becomes a reality. The Law Council will seek a meeting with Prime Minister Morrison and Minister Wyatt at their earliest convenience to advance this significant issue.
“Improved justice outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is vital. We offer our expertise in this area to help formulate legislation to support Indigenous-led policy solutions.”
Mr Moses also reiterated the Law Council’s commitment to assisting and consulting with government, the opposition and cross-bench in relation to the formulation of effective legislation.
“Working with government to ensure laws passed through our Federal Parliament best serve the Australian people is at the core of our mission and of the utmost importance. We will continue to hold the government to account without fear or favour.
“We offer our assistance to the new parliament in the formulation of legislation that benefits all Australians and strengthens our democracy and the rule of law,” Mr Moses said.
QUEENSLAND'S racing industry is supported by almost 7700 volunteers that give their time and resources each week to ensure our sport continues to prosper across the state.
To celebrate National Volunteer Week, RQ is calling on all industry stakeholders to share their stories and thank the wonderful volunteers that contribute to our sport each year.
RQ CEO Brendan Parnell said volunteers come in many shapes and forms.
“Volunteers play a crucial role in the ongoing success and viability of racing across the state, particularly in regional and rural areas,” Mr Parnell said.
“Volunteers might help out at their local club on race days, or help out a family member who participates in racing.”
Mr Parnell said Racing Queensland was proud to join the rest of the country to celebrate the six million Australians who give their time to help others each year.
“I would encourage as many people as possible to share their stories, which serve to inspire others to lend a hand and make a difference.”
Racing Queensland wants to see all of your favourite photos and short stories about volunteers in racing, across all three codes.