Coal requires a full term of government support

HOGSBACK always knows when an election is drawing near because politicians suddenly start visiting coal mining regions more frequently and getting themselves photographed in hard hats.
Coal requires a full term of government support Coal requires a full term of government support Coal requires a full term of government support Coal requires a full term of government support Coal requires a full term of government support

Queensland is facing a state election in October and the government publicity machine has already fired up.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is making her presence felt in the capital of the central Queensland coal belt, Mackay, and making lots of feel good announcements to potential voters.

She was on hand to announce a $50 million overhaul at Stanwell Power Station would start next month, bringing a major boost for Central Queensland jobs and local accommodation providers.

Palaszczuk said she was in the region as part of her government's plan to Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs.

Visiting Mackay's mining industry supplier Real Time Instruments company last Tuesday, Annastacia Palaszczuk said a strong manufacturing sector meant jobs for Queenslanders.

"My government is determined to help our great state recover as an economic powerhouse and a strong manufacturing sector means jobs and more jobs for Queenslanders, which is what we need as we unite and recover from the pandemic," she said.

Readers may remember Palaszczuk's lukewarm support for Adani's proposed Carmichael mine and rail project before the last federal election.

This behavior was against all her political instincts because she knew Central Queenslanders recognised the value of new mining projects to local employment and the local economy.

Apparently, she was told to pipe down in her praise of the project because the then leader of the federal opposition Bill Shorten did not want to put Melbourne and Sydney inner city voters offside.  

Hogsback reckons Palaszczuk knows where the state's bread is buttered.

Coal remains Queensland's most valuable resources export despite an 8.8% drop in value compared to the same period last year.

Queensland coal exports for the year to April 2020 came to $33.6 billion, which is $3.2 billion down on the previous corresponding period.

This year Palaszczuk is attempting to win back the coal sector.

First, she Cameron Dick treasurer, to replace the anti-coal Jacky Trad.

Dick promptly finalised arrangements for the long-mooted $100 million Resources Community Infrastructure Fund.

Secondly, Palaszczuk is making promises about maintaining a period of royalty freezes for mining and oil and gas projects in the state.

She started off with a promised three-year freeze but word on the street is that she will buckle under pressure from the Queensland Resources Council and other sources and extend that to 10 years.

It all looks promising, however, Hogsback reckons the Queensland government should continue to look after the coal industry throughout its term and not just before elections.