HURTING: One local businessman believes the State imposed royalty tax is hurting the South Burnett.
HURTING: One local businessman believes the State imposed royalty tax is hurting the South Burnett. George Smith

‘Can-Do Campbell is crippling the region'

A SOUTH Burnett businessman, who relies on the central Queensland coal industry to make a living, has said the State Government's mining royalty increase will bring more hardship to the region.

The man, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the South Burnett had been building a reputation as a mining and engineering supply arm for the Bowen Basin for the past five years.

"In Kingaroy and Murgon we have major employers who give the district jobs as a direct result from mining products and services that we can offer," he said.

But he said in April when the Federal Government imposed the mining and carbon tax to about $35 per tonne for coal and iron ore, things began to change.

"And to make matters worse, along comes Can-Do Campbell and his Queensland mining tax of $25 per tonne," he said.

"So in just five months Mr Newman has wrecked the complete Queensland mining industry which took Sir Joh 20 years of hard work to get going.

"Queensland mining companies now have to pay $60 a tonne in state and federal mining taxes while the rest of Australia pays just $35 per tonne.

"What company can stay in business when it has been dealt an overnight extra of $60 a tonne cost on its operations?"

The businessman said last year his company grossed $5 million but this financial year to date he had only made $30,000.

"I have had to lay off all my staff because I just can't afford to keep them on," he said.

He said the 9000 job losses across the state were just the beginning with major mining companies now planning to wind up operations in Queensland.

"It has a trickle-on effect and small towns and regions like the South Burnett are suffering," he said. "I'm concerned the South Burnett will become a ghost town because all the job cuts will force people to leave the region to find employment."

The Queensland Premier's office was contacted for comment but had not replied before time of print.

What do you think about the state mining royalty increase? Have your say at editorial@southburnett times.com.au.

South Burnett

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