Barry’s coal black hole: half billion dollar collapse in coal royalties

MEDIA RELEASE – 18 June 2013

The Greens NSW spokesperson on mining Jeremy Buckingham said the revelation that coal royalties had spectacularly collapsed by $573 million from the 2012-13 budget forecast, indicated that the era of king coal was at an end and that the government needed to diversify its revenue base.  Coal mine vertical

“A high Australian dollar, collapsing international demand and commodity prices has caught the government short in revenue, with the $1.878 billion 2012-13 royalty forecast revised down to $1.305 billion,” said Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham.

“The government is ignoring the fact that the curtains are closing on the era of fossil fuels with associated collapse in royalty payments.  King coal should be toppled from its throne and NSW should diversify its revenue base.

“The dominance of the mining boom and high Australian dollar has seen manufacturing and services such as education and tourism suffer with an associated hollowing out of the revenue base.

“NSW needs to invest in long term sustainable industries, rather than just be a quarry for Asia.

“Gold royalties are ridiculously low and should be raised, along with royalties on other minerals.  Gold is also exempt from the federal mining tax.

“Not only is coal destroying our climate and agricultural land, but it is no longer the goose that lays the golden egg in terms royalties.

“The government continues to forecast a massive increase in coal royalties, 15.9% in 2013-14, and a 12.8% increase in the four years to 2016-17. The Greens believe these forecasts are ridiculous and not supported by global trends, the international marketplace, nor recent announcements by the coal industry.

“We are no longer a coal state, and a smart government would accelerate the transition to an economy based on renewable energy, manufacturing, sustainable agriculture and services,” he said.

Contact: Max Phillips – 9230 2202 or 0419 444 916

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