On Tuesday 19 May 2020, Michael asked Treasurer Cameron Dick why the government lets big mining companies get away with not paying their fair share.
Mr BERKMAN: My question is to the Treasurer. Mining company bosses love the government’s royalties freeze and ‘voluntary’ tax scheme, which equates to a tiny 0.05 per cent royalties increase and saves them billions of dollars a year on even a modest increase. Why is the new Treasurer still going easy on mining company bosses instead of making them pay their fair share to pull us out of this crisis?
Mr DICK: I thank the honourable member for his question, but I reject the premise in the question that I am going soft on anyone and I do not intend to do so as the Treasurer. I intend to treat all people fairly. Twelve months ago the government made a commitment to the regional communities infrastructure program. I have resolved that matter, ensuring that $100 million will now flow to regional communities in our state. I think that is a fair thing to do not only to give certainty and consistency to resource and mining companies but also to fulfil the promise we made as a government to those regional communities. Mining communities have generated enormous wealth and prosperity for our state over many generations. I am a supporter of the mining and resources community, as I am a supporter of all industries in Queensland.
One of the strengths we have in Queensland is the diversity of our economy. We have our traditional industries—mining, resources and agriculture—but we also have the new and emerging industries, the industries based on health, knowledge based industries, advanced manufacturing, aerospace, defence and so on. I was very proud to be part of supporting those industries when I was the State Development Minister. We made a commitment. We have now delivered on that commitment. We give certainty to those mining companies going forward. For the benefit of the member for Maiwar, we are in the worst global economic crisis for 90 years. The recession in the United Kingdom is faster and deeper than any other recession for 300 years. That is the reality. We need to give certainty and consistency to all parts of the Queensland economy and to Queenslanders, and we need to demonstrate leadership. That is what we have seen from the Premier and the Deputy Premier and that is what I seek to deliver as the Treasurer now.