Costigan’s call for CQ to see coal royalties fails
RENEGADE North Queensland MP Jason Costigan is hoping a Rockhampton whistle-stop tour next week delivers more than his push for a new approach to mining royalties.
During Question Time in Parliament on Tuesday, the Whitsunday MP asked Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad if she would consider an approach which would see 50 per cent of royalty money from mines in the Bowen and Galilee Basins going directly into Central and North Queensland communities.
Mr Costigan’s play came on the same day that a new Bowen Basin coal mine, on track to create almost 1000 jobs, was officially opened.
The $1.76 billion Byerwen project — a joint venture between Queensland-based QCoal and Japanese company JFE Steel — exported its first metallurgical coal to the Fukuyama steel works in Japan in January.
In reply to Mr Costigan’s question, Ms Trad confirmed there were no plans for the State Government to redistribute royalties from regional Queensland coal mines into local communities.
“As it is, all of the wealth created in our state gets shared by everyone in our state,” Ms Trad said.
“Whether people are paying elevated levels of payroll tax in south-east Queensland, it gets distributed to our regions.
“That is why more than 60 per cent of our capital expenditure budget is being spent outside the south-east Queensland corner.”
Mr Costigan announced this month that he was creating a new political party, North Queensland First, and would be going after seats from “Calliope to the Cape” at the 2020 state election.
The party also aims to split the state in two.
Ms Trad stressed on Tuesday, in response to Mr Costigan’s royalties question, that Queensland was better off united.
“As Queenslanders — and I will refer to comments that are consistently made by the Premier — we are stronger when we are together,” she said.
“At no time is that more obvious than when we face natural disasters.
“I know that Queenslanders right across our state will help out fellow Queenslanders. That is what we do when it comes to sharing the wealth of our state.”
Mr Costigan is yet to formalise a schedule for his Rockhampton visit.