Gas royalties promise shrouded in uncertainty
THE ANNOUNCEMENT of more money flowing back to the southwest through oil and gas royalties has been met with jubilation from drilling companies, but Warrego MP Ann Leahy still has questions for those behind the decision.
No financial projections for the new model of royalties have been released as yet, but speculation the returns to the southwest could be about $100 million.
Ms Leahy has called for more clarity on the matter, asking the state government to set royalty rates and get the money to resource-producing regions in regional Queensland.
"They have realised (former Treasurer) Jackie Trad had made a dog's breakfast out of the way she had treated the resources industry, and now they've had to go back to the drawing board," she said.
"There is some uncertainty because the tax rates are not yet decided; we would like to see that sooner rather than later."
Ms Leahy believes a concrete decision on royalties has not been made because of delays to the state budget - initially due to be handed down this month.
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the budget was suspended and last month, the government confirmed it would publish a COVID-19 Fiscal and Economic Review in September.
Ms Leahy said the delays are not welcome for the resources industry.
"The uncertainty will continue because we don't have a budget happening in Queensland, and the industry would probably like to see greater certainty," she said.
"I'm sure they won't want to be waiting until October to find out what these individual (royalty) rates are …
"There is a lot of talk of transparency, but we do need to see what those rates are.
"If we do have to wait until there is a budget, that will create more uncertainty for the industry at a time when they desperately need certainty because of the falling oil price."
Ms Leahy said the uncertainty is also not ideal for her electorate, where she is calling for more royalty money to be invested in vital infrastructure.
"Obviously I welcome any money that could flow back in to the region, because we are starved of funding for roads," she said.
"I want to see these projects, I want to see the dollars on these projects, and I want to see it flow fairly to our region."