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Govt confident the WA precedent means it will keep coal royalty benefit


The State Government claims the huge bounty from coal royalties in the past year won’t be lost through the GST process.

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Up to $13 billion in royalties has been estimated by the industry as the State Government’s take from the new royalty regime.

But in previous years when mining booms have generated a huge take for the government, much of the benefit had been lost because of the way the GST is distributed so that the benefits were evenly spread among the states.

However, Western Australia’s booming iron ore take changed all that and because that state was so finely balanced politically, the Coalition Government allowed it to keep more of the benefit from royalties. Now, every state receives 70 per cent of the GST revenue collected within their borders, regardless of the size of their own coffers.

The Commonwealth Grants Commission decision on this would not come until early next year but the State Government remains confident that the three-year averaging that is used to determine GST meant that there won’t be any immediate impact from the royalties take.

Treasurer Cameron Dick told The Australian that if there was further increases in coal prices he was confident the state would keep the benefit.

“Because of changes made to GST distribution, Queenslanders can have confidence that we won’t be penalised by any further uplift in royalties,” he said.

The State Government is also expected to reveal the cost of the Borumba pumped hydro scheme would be about $14.159 billion.

About $6 billion would be included in the forward estimates while another $1 billion would be allocated to the Pioneer Burdekin pumped hydro project.

The Borumba project was getting more funds because it was more advanced.

The two pumped hydro schemes are part of the State Government’s Energy Plan and its strategy to shift the state away from its reliance on coal-fired generators.

The Government has also revealed that the Budget would include an additional $322 million to build 500 more social homes.

About $4 billion was previously allocated to the social and affordable housing sector.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Government was pulling every possible lever to ensure Queenslanders had a roof over their heads.





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