A multinational mining company received no federal assistance to extend the life of its metal operations in Central Queensland.
The Federal Government did not allocate any new funding in its 2021 Budget for Rio Tinto’s Boyne Smelters, 26km southeast of Gladstone.
‘No investment’ in Qld
“[There was] no investment in the long-term viability of the smelter run by Australian company Rio Tinto in Gladstone,” State Treasurer Cameron Dick said in a public statement.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison only decided to underwrite energy saving measures at Alcoa’s US-owned Portland Smelter, 380km west of Melbourne.
“The government will provide up to $215.4 million to support investment in new dispatchable generation and deliver affordable and reliable power for consumers in the nation’s electricity markets,” the federal Budget wording said.
“This includes up to $76.9M to underwrite Portland Aluminium Smelter’s participation in the reliability and emergency reserve trader mechanism.”
Taxed nearly $40B
The remarks came despite the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) revealing the industry, as a whole, contributed nearly a third of the nation’s entire company tax revenue in the past financial year.
“The Australian minerals industry accounts for 30 per cent of company tax collections,” MCA chief executive Tania Constable said in a public statement.
“New analysis by Deloitte Access Economics shows that the industry paid $39.9 billion in company tax and royalties in 2019-20 … [and] Treasury notes that mining delivered higher-than-expected company tax receipts, forecast to reach $100.5B in 2024-25.”
Half of funds unpaid
The State Government accused the prime minister of neglecting the Sunshine State in the federal Budget after originally promising $1.6B in new funding.
“We have learned the truth – only $807.5M of that supposed $1.6B, barely half of the amount promised, is in this budget,” Dick said.
“Scott Morrison is holding Queenslanders to ransom, saying they would have to vote for him in at least two more elections before we would see the money he promised. By comparison, the Liberal [controlled] states of New South Wales and South Australia get $1.4B and $2B in this budget [respectively].”