Qld coal miners seek clarity on tax hike
Coal miners still don't know how much tax they will pay in Queensland next month and have accused the government of breaking an election promise not to hike taxes.
Treasurer Cameron Dick promised not to hike any taxes, fees or charges during the 2020 campaign, but he's since changed his tune ahead of next Tuesday's state budget.
Mr Dick insists he meant no new taxes on "working families" rather than no new taxes at all, but Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane says he's breaking his election promise.
"Queenslanders have a right to know why the government is breaking its election promise not to impose new taxes," Mr Macfarlane told AAP.
"Our door is open to being consulted on this matter, so we can make sure the government fully understands the long-term implications for Queensland of this short-term decision to plug a hole in the state budget."
Mr Macfarlane said coal taxes are proportionate, so the government is already getting more income from surging international coal prices.
He warned that hiking taxes will deter potential international investors from Queensland mining projects.
Mr Dick has also changed his tune on potentially increasing fees for things like car registration and charges in his June 21 budget, which he said are among the lowest in the country.
In return, the treasurer has promised to cut $43 off monthly household power bills, which are set to rise by at least that amount from July.
The government will also fund a new $750 million integrated cancer centre at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.
Another $200 million will go into a fund for new roads, sewerage systems and other infrastructure in the southeast of the state to spur new housing developments.
Public high school students are to have access to free period products, while $72 million will go towards a new aeromedical hub at Brisbane Airport.
Another $35 million will go towards feasibility studies for pumped hydropower storage projects and $13 million will be invested in the National Battery Testing Centre at the Queensland University of Technology.
All up, Mr Dick expects to spend about $1.5 billion more than the government earns in his 2022/23 budget, which is about $900 million less than the deficit he forecast six months ago.