Queensland’s tiered structure will charge 12.5% on coal prices between A$100 – A$150/metric ton (mt) and 15% on coal priced above A$150/mt. The current structure charges a 10% royalty on coal priced above A$100/mt.

Roche fears the new royalty structure would drive coal industry investment away from Queensland and into the arms of competitors. “For some existing high cost coal mines, the new royalty structure could be the final straw,” Roche said.

Roche also dispelled the notion that coal companies will be able to offset these new state taxes against federal Mineral Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) obligations. “The MRRT is a federal tax on super profits, and right now, it’s hard work to find a coal mine in Queensland making a profit, let alone a super profit,” Roche said.