Lock the Gate Alliance has called on the coal industry to do the right thing and pay its fair share in coal royalties rather than continuing its attempts to blackmail the Queensland Government into dropping the modest royalty increase implemented recently.
The minor increases in coal royalties introduced by the QLD Government were in response to record coal prices driven by the war in Ukraine, but the coal industry is now using threats to try to have the decision overturned.
An analysis of the expected returns from the new windfall royalties shows the predicted increase of $1.2 billion over four years would allow the Queensland Government to employ the equivalent of 4000 extra nurses or teachers.
Standing out among many majority foreign-owned multinationals trying to bulldoze the QLD Government is NSW-based repeat environmental vandal Whitehaven Coal, who has just joined the industry campaign (a list of Whitehaven’s offences and penalties is available here).
Lock the Gate Alliance Queensland spokesperson Ellie Smith said, “Coal companies are making record profits off the war in Ukraine and global uncertainty, which have hit the hip pockets of Queenslanders hard when they go to pay their power bills.
“These are Queensland-owned resources and the mining industry doesn’t have some sort of god-given right to line its own pockets at the expense of Queenslanders.
“Ensuring a portion of those profits comes back into health and education services is so important as we set ourselves up for a future that is much less dependent on fossil fuels - we estimate almost 4,000 nurses or teachers could be employed with these funds.
“Queenslanders should receive a fair share when the price of coal is at record levels. The mega profits these companies are making right now must go back into the services that Queenslanders need, like health and education, rather than multinational coal company bank accounts.
“We bear the brunt of the impacts mining has on our land and water. We feel the effects of the floods and fires it fuels through its climate impacts. It’s important the coal industry pays accordingly.
“It’s particularly important for the Queensland Palaszczuk Government to reinvest these royalties into regional communities that need to adapt as the world’s coal consumption falls in line with the need to halt global warming, and the rapid rise in renewable energy use.
“We’d also like to see this bold move from the Queensland Government encourage our southern neighbours to adopt a similar tiered royalty scheme so they too can keep a fair share of the super profits coal companies are making at the moment.”
NSW-based Whitehaven is trying to build its Winchester South coal mine in Central Queensland, however currently has no mines in the state.
But Whitehaven’s understanding of Queensland’s climate is so poor, the company got its wet season modelling back to front when it first applied to build the project.
BHP meanwhile has stated it is pausing preparations for its proposed Blackwater South Project in Central Queensland due to the new royalty scheme, despite recently applying for federal environmental approval for the project. Submissions close on Monday 22nd August.