A national think tank is urging Queensland’s newly-minted Palaszczuk government to prioritise making the state attractive to investors or “risk losing major projects such as the Carmichael coal mine“.
James Paterson, Deputy Executive Director of the Institute of Public Affairs, said if business confidence was not restored immediately the economy would suffer.
“Not only is Australia already an expensive place to do business, it has now also become a high risk place. State and federal governments continue to radically change policies each time government changes hands. This uncertainty means Australia will lose major projects overseas,” Mr Patterson said.
“With political instability at the federal and state levels, business is currently in limbo. Thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in taxes and royalties are in jeopardy in Queensland as a result,”
Mr Patterson said Australia now ranks 124th out of 144 economies in terms of the burden of government regulation, according to the World Economic Forum’s 2014-2015 Global Competiveness Report.
“The new government is justified in its view that taxpayers should not subsidise private businesses. However, it is more important that the government stops being a handbrake on companies that want to invest in projects which will boost the economy,” Mr Paterson said.
“Overturning the Newman government’s green-tape reforms would be a huge mistake. Restoring the restrictive wild-rivers protection laws and making it easier for activists to tie up projects with objections will be a major disincentive for investment in Queensland.”
“If companies like Adani decide to pull the pin on projects such as Carmichael, a very strong signal will be sent to other investors that doing business in Australia is now a risky proposition.”