From today’s Australian Financial Review: beautiful, just beautiful. :
Coalminers threaten Queensland shutdowns
BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and other miners are reconsidering their plans in Australia’s biggest coal-producing state after the new conservative Queensland government hiked the coal royalty rate to help drive a record $6.3 billion budget deficit back to surplus.
Premier Campbell Newman’s first budget on Tuesday predicted a bullish rebound in global coal prices and a surge in the state’s biggest export as it sought to raise $1.6 billion over four years by increasing the coal royalty from 10 per cent to 12.5 per cent for coal prices above $100 a tonne and to 15 per cent for coal prices above $150 a tonne.
But angry mining companies said the move, predicted in The Australian Financial Review, would lead to more job losses, mine closures and project cancellations.
Mining entrepreneur Clive Palmer, who is one of the LNP’s biggest donors, said the royalty decision would cost thousands of jobs and “kill” the state’s economy.
“Increased mining royalties on top of widespread sackings is hardly a recipe for growth in this state,” he said. “It is a recipe for disaster putting us on an uneven footing with the rest of the world.”
Recall the Campbell Newman, the Liberal-National Party Premier investigated the possibility of joining a High Court Challenge (The Australian, May 8 2012) to the Gillard Governments “carbon tax” but then decided it would most likely fail:
A HIGH Court challenge against the carbon tax will fail and Queensland won’t be part of it, Premier Campbell Newman says.
Mr Newman says he’s received legal advice not to join any challenge to the federal government’s tax on big polluters.
“We’re not going to waste taxpayers’ money given it indicates that, sadly, the federal drafters of this have done a good job of making it very bullet-proof,” Mr Newman told 2GB radio.
“I’ve also talked to at least one other state leader about this, and they’ve had similar advice so we’re not going to waste the taxpayers’ money.
“But I wish I could.”
He described the carbon tax as “economic madness”, saying he would have joined the legal action “if it had been 50/50”.
He said the tax would compromise Queensland’s ability to process resources locally.
“That’ll all happen overseas.”
Ahhhhh Queensland, beautiful one day: coal free the next… how’s the economic madness going Campbell?
Now if I may…
Recall, some time ago I said climate sceptics and conservatives were due for a lesson in realpolitk:
The “tax” may be tweaked or rebranded by successive governments, but its here to stay.
The coming disappointments
The denial movement is about to receive some harsh lessons in realpolitk as they grapple with two major disappointments.
The first disappointment: business opposition to the carbon tax will melt away within six months as it did in New Zealand and Europe (see above). They will lose allies and supporters (except for some very loud and eccentric billionaires).
The second disappointment: the tax is here to stay, regardless of who is in power.
Now this is where Australian politics is set to get messy.
As I said: a tax on fossil fuel industires is here to stay.
Inadvertantly, the Queensland LNP is helping the environment.
I wonder what Jo Nova, Alan Jones and the Galileo Movement will make of the Newman’s actions?
Can we expect rallies across the country?
Thundering opinion pieces from Andrew Bolt?
I can hear Tony Abbott in Canberra right now….
I am all kinds of amused.