Mining and Heavy Industries

Coal royalties to fund post-mining Queensland

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Queensland treasurer Curtis Pitt says a $1.2 billion increase in the state’s budget surplus will be used to fund Queensland’s transition away from mining, despite surging coal royalties being credited for much of the surplus growth.

Pitt on December 13 said the 2016/17 state budget surplus was now forecast to finish up around $2,026 million, up from the $867 million forecast in June.

While the “lion’s share” of this growth has come higher than expected revenue from export coal royalties, Pitt said the surplus would be used to fund Queensland’s life beyond coal.

$160 million in new funding will go to the Jobs and Regional Growth Package, which looks to grow small businesses and tourism in regional areas. Another $200 million in regional funding will go towards the Works for Queensland program, which supports local councils’ minor infrastructure projects.

“This is the Palaszczuk Government’s second consecutive net operating surplus and it highlights the strengths of Queensland’s diversified economy, and the challenges Queensland faces in the transition away from mining investment to broader based growth, particularly in regional areas,” Pitt said.

“Economic growth is expected to be strong in 2016/17, reflecting the ramp-up in LNG exports and is expected to be largely driven by growth in overseas exports and a return to positive growth in state final demand.”

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