Qld miners want coal royalties indexed
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BRISBANE, Oct 30 AAP
October 30 2012, 5:46PM
The Queensland resources sector is pleading with the state government to index any increases in coal royalties to stop projects becoming unattractive to miners.
Since the start of October, royalties increased from 10 per cent to 12.5 per cent for every tonne of coal sold between $100 and $150 a tonne.
Coal sold for more than that price attracts a 15 per cent royalty, under changes unveiled in the September budget.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said coal royalty increases needed to be indexed for inflation.
"Because we've now got three levels of royalties ... the old bracket creep that income tax payers are so familiar with will apply to coal companies and their royalties," Mr Roche told reporters in Brisbane.
"So unless the thresholds or those royalty rates are indexed, then more and more of the coal price will edge up into the higher rates, so the tax rate will grow and grow.
"If they don't address this issue, new projects will look more and more unattractive."
The royalty increases are forecast to raise $1.6 billion over four years, but Mr Roche said indexing it with headline inflation would only be a "very small haircut for Treasury".
Mr Roche said he had had meetings with Treasurer Tim Nicholls since the budget.
"We've had a good hearing. We understand that Treasury's doing its analysis," he said.
"We wait with baited breath for hopefully a positive outcome."
The new 10-year tax regime came into effect on October 1.