Two National Party MPs representing the state’s largest coal mining communities have called on the Minns Government to guarantee no mines will be closed, or jobs lost, as a result of any proposed changes to royalties in NSW.
Treasurer Daniel Mookhey said recently that NSW was “entitled to a fair return for their resources.” He said the government intended to consult miners, electricity generators, and key trading partners before possibly making changes.
Nationals Members for Bathurst, Paul Toole, and Upper Hunter, Dave Layzell, have joined forces to stand up for jobs in their respective regions and to safeguard energy security as the NSW Government reviews coal mining royalties.
Mr Toole said the Lithgow mining community cannot pay the price for the Labor’s determination to fund its pet projects, while it takes the axe to vital regional support like Resources for Regions.
Resources Minister Courtney Houssos was asked a very simple question in parliament: “Will the Minister guarantee that no coal mine will close prematurely, threatening regional jobs, trade, energy security and energy prices, due to any new coal royalty scheme imposed from 1 July 2024 onwards?”
“Ms Houssos, who is also the Finance Minister, was unable to provide that guarantee,” Mr Toole said.
“The current royalties regime already ensures mining companies pay their fair share, with higher coal prices delivering record royalties receipts in the recently ended financial year. There is no justification for raising royalty rates at a time when coal prices have moderated,” he said.
Dave Layzell said mining is the backbone of his electorate of Upper Hunter, and any hikes to royalty rates could threaten jobs and investment, and result in premature mine closures that would cost the state even more in lost royalty payments.
“We have seen Queensland’s greedy grab for coal mining cash kill investment, attack jobs and force mine closures. The NSW Government must give a commitment that will not be repeated here,” Mr Layzell said.
“Communities like mine and Mr Toole’s help keep the lights on, ensuring energy and job security, and that is all threatened by a hike in royalties. The Minns Government must guarantee that no mines will close prematurely because of any hike in mining royalties.”