State KAP Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter has called out at the Palaszczuk Government over its latest move to leech money from the state’s mining companies, with the Treasurer today asking mining bosses for $70 million in return for a freeze on royalty rises.
Mr Katter said it was likely the Labor Government was trying to desperately raise revenue.
He said the KAP had questioned the State Government in recent weeks on any plans it might have to further tax mining companies across the state.
“The KAP’s Nick Dametto called the Treasurer out in Parliament on rumours we were hearing about coal royalty hikes,” he said.
“Now backed into a corner after promising the Queensland Resources Council not to raise them (https://www.qrc.org.au/media-releases/resources-industry-assured-by-government-that-royalty-increase-not-in-state-budget-preparations/), I would suspect the government is looking for ways to ensure it can somehow secure more money from the mining companies.
“This is poor form and is going to do nothing to sure up confidence in our resources industries, which is what we desperately need.
“The mining industry already provides billions of dollars annually in royalties as well as thousands of jobs – it needs to be treated as job enabler and not a cash cow.”
Mr Katter said he was sceptical about where exactly the money from the new “regional infrastructure fund” would be spent.
“We don’t know the full details of this policy yet but, the KAP would always welcome investment in regional and rural areas, particularly in North and North West Queensland,” he said.
“But what is regional to me is not necessarily regional to my counterparts in Brisbane – are we talking about money for the Copperstring project out in Mount Isa, or money for a new rail line or road in outer Brisbane?
“The truth is the government’s track record has been to take money earned from the resources sector in the regions and spend it in the south-east.
“They can’t be trusted when they say they are going to spend money in the regions; I will believe it when I see it.
“If they are serious about investing in regional infrastructure, scrap the Cross River Rail Project and then you will have $5 billion to put into the regions straight away.”