Qld can't budget without coal

HOGSBACK reckons state and federal governments are happy to pocket the gains from coal and mining but get shy when it comes to actually publicly acknowledging its contribution.
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The Queensland budget estimates coal will pay $2.05 billion in royalties in 2021-22.

In his budget speech this week Queensland treasurer Cameron Dick mentioned renewable energy eight times, hydrogen twice, and solar once.

Tellingly, the treasurer made no mention of coal or LNG during that speech.  

This is yet another example of how governments are doing all they can to disguise the contribution of coal and other fossil fuels that are maintaining revenues in Queensland.

The Queensland budget document states: "Royalties and land rents are expected to increase by $674 million [25.3%] compared to 2020-21, driven by expected rebounds in coal and LNG prices following significant falls in 2020-21."

The Queensland budget estimates coal will pay $2.05 billion in royalties in 2021-22.

However, royalty revenues in 2021-22 and the following two years are expected to be lower than forecast in the 2020-21 budget, primarily reflecting the ongoing uncertainty around China's restrictions on Australian coal.

The unheralded contribution of coal and mining generally can also be gleaned by recent research from the Productivity Commission.

Australians are each $11,500 worse off after a decade of the nation's worst economic growth in 40 years, it reckons.

Its research shows only a sustained increases in the prices of key mineral exports such as coal and iron saved Australians from the full impact on their living standards brought about by the slowdown in the rest of the economy since 2012.

Over the past decade, average income per capita has slumped to just 1% compared to 2.4% during the resources boom of the 2000s.

Productivity growth across Australia was mainly due to a slowdown in capital investment after the end of the mining construction boom about eight years ago.

Corporations, governments, and investors had put their money into mining during the resources boom and it delivered economic growth for all Australians.

Nowadays, investors are putting their money in overpriced Sydney houses while governments are spending billions of dollars on dodgy submarine projects that fail to deliver anything but a debt overhang.

Hogsback reckons until politicians of all persuasions are brave enough to recognise the benefits coal and mining bring to the nation, we will continue to slide into a low growth torpor.