Industry boss hits back

MP Robert Schwarten.
MP Robert Schwarten. File Image

A MINING industry leader has hit back at Member for Rockhampton Robert Schwarten’s claim coal companies have been “bludging off taxpayers”.

Queensland Resources Council boss Michael Roche said the government had reaped billions of dollars in royalties from mining companies, which were clearly paying their way.

Mr Roche said Mr Schwarten’s comment and a similar swipe from Premier Anna Bligh that taxpayers were subsidising the transport arrangements of the coal companies came from a government under pressure.

However an unapologetic Mr Schwarten yesterday stood by his comment and slammed Mr Roche for saying Central Queensland communities weren’t getting their share of the wealth.

“I find it remarkable that after 11 years in power, the State Government is conceding that it has effectively misled the electorate,” Mr Roche said.

“In the Parliament and in the media, both the Premier and Deputy Premier have in the recent past made it clear that that the coal industry pays for all infrastructures built on its behalf by government-owned corporations.

“These subsidy claims represent an extraordinary reaction to a request from the coal industry for the government to examine an alternative offer to buy the Central Queensland coal track network.

“Surely it is in the interests of Queensland taxpayers to have on the table an alternative offer from the coal industry, which may not only produce an attractive short-term return to the state but also deliver a superior long-term result in improving the performance of the export supply chain.

“The dividend for taxpayers from an efficient export supply chain is more coal royalties funding more hospital beds, more teachers and more police.”

Mr Schwarten, who made his bludging comment on the 4RO radio station, said the money to fund rail infrastructure to support the mines had been borrowed on the taxpayers’ account.

“The coal industry was established in Queensland around the rail industry,” Mr Schwarten said.

“The coal industry has not borrowed this money, it has been on our account.

“Every dollar that goes towards this is another dollar the government has to borrow for rail infrastructure and not money that could be going to schools and so on.”

He said with the government losing its triple-A credit rating its interest rate repayment had increased, furthering the burden on the taxpayer.

Mr Schwarten said of the $1.5 billion total royalties paid this financial year, infrastructure spending in the Fitzroy region was $2.6 billion.

“That’s before one teacher, one nurse or one disability service worker is paid in the region,” he said.

Outrage as protesters vandalise Rocky shop fronts

The aftermath of anti-Adani mine protesters who vandalised a shop in Rockhampton

Councillor disappointed in actions of protesters

Closed-door discussion on Livingstone land acquistion

The preferred alignment for a shared bike/walking pathway linking Statue Bay, Kemp Beach, Rosslyn Bay and Mulambin Beach.

Confidential matter relates to shared pathways linking the Cap Coast

Tony Abbott hit CQ to talk jobs and power prices

Tony Abbott has toured central Queensland pushing his own “jobs first” power policy, while his own government is yet to finalise its position on the contentious topic. Picture: Hollie Adams/The Australian

The move by the ousted Liberal leader has frustrated some colleagues

Local Partners

Got 15 minutes spare? You could save a life

It was something Connor O'Driscoll had always meant to do, but never got around to booking an appointment for.

Your Chance to Win

A Holiday to Kingfisher Bay!
Learn More

Why crowds are loving Happy Kanye at Splendour

Danger Dave and Melissah Marie with the artwork Happy Kanye at Splendour in the Festival 2017.

By Barcelona-based artistic collective Hungry Castle

Amber Heard, Elon Musk among Splendour celebs

Bernard Fanning plays the main stage at Splendour in the Grass 2017 on day 2.

DAY TWO of Splendour in the Grass was the day of celebrities.

Iraq veteran provides PTSD hope for Rocky battlers

James Greenshield (right) was diagnosed with PTSD as a result of his military service overseas, particularly the incident where the armoured vehicle he was in was hit by a roadside bomb. His wife Kirsty (left) has been by his side as he battle PTSD afterwards and now they tour Australia sharing their story and the lessons they learned.

Veteran says PTSD needs healing as well as treating symptoms

Northern Rivers truckie takes on Ninja Warrior Grand Final

TRUCKIE turned Australian Ninja Warrior grand finalist Tom Hazell spent three years preparing for the grand final - on a home made course in his backyard.

Diana Chan crowned MasterChef's 2017 winner

MasterChef Australia's 2017 winner Diana Chan. Supplied by Channel 10.

MELBOURNE accountant comes out on top after 8-hour showdown.

Mini ninjas get into training

Gary Nowlan, 12, of Gawler East trains in X-Park at Bounce.

Kids as young as 12 are already dreaming of becoming Ninja Warriors

Families that game together, stay together?

Gaming is becoming an increasingly popular opportunity for family bonding, according to new studies.

More parents, grandparents turn to gaming to connect with kids

Michael Phelps just raced a shark

Sharks have been snapped surrounding the carcass of a whale off the coast of Fraser Island.

Swimming legend loses by a fin in man versus beast battle

REVIEW: The Bodyguard musical is a great night out

Kip Gamblin and Paulini in a scene from the musical The Bodyguard.

PAULINI tackles Whitney Houston's powerhouse songs flawlessly.

What 'intimidated' Chris Hemsworth's Thor while filming?

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has a new look in the third film.Source:Supplied

It looks like Chris Hemsworth met his match.

GUIDED TOUR: Video footage of hottest property in CQ right now

SUPER SALE: 13 Brumby Drive, Tanby, recently sold for full list price in just four days. INSET: Natalie Gesler and Jodi Schofield from @Real Estate.

Property on Capricorn Coast selling in as little as four days

'We’re goin' to Bonnie Doon!' and now you can too

How's the serenity?

The experience will have you exclaiming “how’s the serenity?”

New life for Bree and historic Oddfellows Hall

TWO CHANGES: Bree Dahl with her new baby Ivy in front of the historic Oddfellows Hall she purchased at auction and will renovate into a house.

Historic hall to be turned into home

Financial scandal destroys alternative community

Families who gave thousands to be a part of an alternative community at Mt Burrell, west of Murwillumbah, are now trying to recover their investment. Picture: Jamie Hanson

Dream Utopia turns into a nightmare