Three Australian states – New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania – have all recently handed down their 2018-19 budgets. Below is a brief overview of each budget with information relevant to resources professionals.
New South Wales
The NSW budget has showcased the enormous contribution mining has made – and will continue to make – to the economy.
Royalties from the mining sector have been revised up by $813 million and will deliver a record $1.8 billion in this year alone, and another record $2 billion next year to help fund improved services across the state. This is equal to $7.4 billion over the forward estimate (four years) and reveals the strong position of growth within the industry.
$7.4 billion in mining royalties would cover almost all of the NSW government’s $8 billion budget commitments for better health facilities, including the funding of 40 new and upgraded hospitals across NSW, $700 million for a Mental Health Infrastructure Program and $150 million into research to fight cardiovascular disease.
Alternatively, this $7.4 billion in mining royalties would pay for the majority of the NSW government’s key budget commitments on education, including their $6 billion commitment to fund 170 new and upgraded schools and the $500 million plan to deliver air-conditioning in 1000 schools across NSW.
These budget commitments were made possible despite the dramatic fall in revenue from the property market in Sydney, due to the strong and stable position and contribution of mining in NSW.
The Queensland government has confirmed royalties from coal, minerals, petroleum and gas will be $4.327 billion this financial year alone, and anticipates royalties paid to the government through mining will be more than $20 billion between now and 1 July 2023. This means that every individual working in the mining sector will contribute approximately $72 000 over five years to fund health, education and infrastructure and a whole host of other budget commitments across the state.
These royalty payments are in addition to more than $1 billion per week the industry generates in exports. The mining industry delivers almost 80 per cent of Queensland’s total overseas trade in goods.
Mining and minerals processing is still a key economic pillar in Tasmania, with the sector responsible for 55 per cent of Tasmanian exports – more than $1.5 billion a year.
The 2018-19 budget includes $2 million for the new Exploration Drilling Grant Initiative to expand the mining industry in Tasmania.
The funding will support increased ‘greenfield’ mineral exploration through funding 50 per cent of direct drilling costs incurred on approved programs.
This sits alongside ongoing programs including a $1.4 million Geoscience Initiative, which aims to provide geoscientific data that will underpin the industry’s future, and a $1 million Mining Sector Innovation Initiative, which will see new technologies, solutions to mine rehabilitation and other cutting edge projects explored.
The budget also includes continued funding for the Mineral Exploration Investment Attraction Plan, which promotes mining and exploration in Tasmania to a national and international market.