Treasurer Tim Nicholls
Treasurer Tim Nicholls

LNP to raise taxes

JUST hours after Mines Minister Andrew Cripps told a packed room that the resources sector should not be treated like a "perennial cash cow", Treasurer Tim Nicholls flagged an increase in royalty fees paid by miners.

The industry peak body has quietly warned against the move, saying it would likely cost jobs.

Mr Nicholls flagged on ABC radio that beyond just the cuts being made to spending and jobs within government, the state had to also raise revenue.

He said the State would ask all industries to make a contribution to help the state budget.

But given it had promised to freeze car registrations and introduce no new land taxes, it left few options.

"It leaves mining royalties and gaming taxes and a number of smaller fees," Mr Nicholls said.

"We're going to have to make a decision about it."

Queensland Resources Council boss Michael Roche was muted in his response to the news, warning royalties could cost jobs and make the industry uncompetitive, saying they would not be welcomed.

Increasing royalties creates a higher cost for every coal mining firm, whether or not they are profitable.

It comes at a time when coal prices, in particular, are plummeting.

"I am aware of just this morning, a senior executive of a mining company that is in a loss-making situation, that he was prepared now to let another 200 people go," Mr Roche said.

"That was before any royalty consideration."

At a forum earlier on Friday, Mr Cripps said the Newman Government would not view the industry as cash cows, then later said the state would consider the cost of trying to fight the Federal Government's Mineral Resources Rent Tax.

Mr Roche said this showed Mr Cripps was a minister aware of his portfolio and the challenges facing the industry.

The QRC has been less restrained when a royalty increase has been suggested previously, with Mr Roche describing a 2008 increase under the Bligh Government as a "smash and grab raid".

He said there had been some discussion with the government about royalties although the price was so far unknown.

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