At this year’s World Mining Congress in Brisbane, BHP Chief Executive Mike Henry and Anglo-American Chief Executive Duncan Wanblad officially announced both companies would stop investing ‘growth capital’ in the state, after last year’s royalty changes made Queensland “the highest taxing regime for mining in the world.”
Following Premier Palaszczuk’s speech at the conference, which outlined QLD Labor’s ‘Critical Minerals Strategy’, Mr. Henry warned that making Queensland a risky place to do business would extend past coal and into critical minerals – held by the State Labor Government as the next “mining boom”.
Three Central Queensland MP’s are concerned this announcement solidifies Labor as a ‘we-know-best’ State Government, who are letting regional communities suffer as a result.
Federal Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, Federal Member for Dawson, Andrew Willcox, and Federal Member for Flynn, Colin Boyce, are urging the Government to work with industry, and consider the implications their reckless decisions are having on regional QLD communities.
Michelle Landry, Federal Member for Capricornia, said the changes made last year to increase Queensland’s tax royalty will create job uncertainty in the region.
“The reality is that the resources industry is on the precipice of another mining boom, with the need for critical minerals becoming greater than ever. Queensland will be overlooked for investment while the Labor party pillage the sector with higher taxes,” Ms Landry said.
“Capricornia has more coal mines than any other electorate in Australia. Thousands of families in Capricornia rely on the resources sector to provide for them, with $108 million in wages being paid in the 2021-22 financial year.
Federal Member for Dawson, Andrew Willcox is concerned with the QLD Labor Government’s decision, which leaves current and future job opportunities in the industry on the “cutting room floor”.
“In Dawson, Labor’s royalty hikes are pushing the nearly 10,000 workers who rely on the resources industry from over 300 businesses into the firing line,” Mr Willcox said.
“A prime example is the vitally important BHP Local Buying Program, a program from private industry which invests directly into small, local, and First Nations businesses in parts of regional Queensland.
“Under this program, more than 1,500 work opportunities were created, and over $26 million was invested into the Mackay region alone in the 2021 financial year.
“This is an incredible local investment from the resources industry.
“However, last week’s announcement confirms Labor have firmly labelled our State as a minerals no-go zone.
“It’s the mums and dads in our resources and small businesses that rely on programs like this, who will be the worst impacted if industry must dry up investment.
Federal Member for Flynn, Colin Boyce slammed the Labor State Government’s coal royalty tax hike that is stifling investment in the resource and critical mineral sectors, especially in the Flynn electorate.
“Nearly 92 per cent of metallurgical coal exports came from Queensland in 2021, which means billions of dollars in royalties and taxes to pay for the services we all rely on,” Mr Boyce said.
“We should be thanking our coal miners for the work they do, not threatening to take away their jobs which is now happening under Labor’s introduction of higher taxes on the resources industry.
“In the 2020-21 financial year, the resources industry in Flynn provided a total economic contribution of $9.4 billion of gross regional product and supported over 42,000 local jobs.
“Rather than targeting the resources industry with more taxes, the Labor State Government should be encouraging further investment.”
The three Central QLD MP’s are calling on the Labor Government to work with industry, not actively against it, to ensure that regional QLD communities don’t miss out on vital future employment and investment opportunities.