Gouging mining industry for revenue will cost jobs

New Hope Group is undertaking an extensive rehabilitation program at its New Acland coal mine.
New Hope Group is undertaking an extensive rehabilitation program at its New Acland coal mine. Lyndon Keane

ANY attempt to gouge Queensland's mining industry to bolster state coffers could cost more than 20,000 jobs as a key lobby group warns one-in-four mines now failing to make money.

The Queensland Resources Council fears the government could attempt to break a vow to freeze royalty charges for mines until 2022.

The Newman Government is attempting to wrangle public support for asset sales by publicly consulting on its "strong choices" campaign.

Regional Queenslanders have already signalled they would prefer gas and mining charges to asset sales.

QRC chief Michael Roche said struggling mines were only still operating because closure meant still having to pay contracted port and rail charges.

If government charges go up, the industry warns mothballing sites may prove cheaper than staying open.

He said if these hobbled mines shut down, Queensland risked losing 22,000 jobs and $330 million in royalties per year.

In its submission to government, the QRC backs the "selected sale or leasing of assets".

This is not the first time the resources lobby has warned the state to keep its hands out of industry pockets.

In late April, Mr Roche called on the government to keep its vow to freeze royalty charges.

He also reminded the government of the 8000 Queensland jobs which have disappeared since mid-2012 as coal prices tumbled.

Submissions to the state's campaign close on May 19.

Topics:  mining industry taxation

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