Media reports suggest that the Palaszczuk Government intends to give Adani a discount on the royalties the company would pay to extract the state’s coal.
If the Queensland government settles on a royalty holiday for Adani’s proposed coal mine, similar to that used earlier by the NSW government, the cost to Queenslanders will be almost $1.2 billion in lost revenue. This policy would effectively give Adani free coal for five years and discounted coal for another four.
The final cost of the subsidy to Adani will depend on the final royalty arrangements, coal prices and the size of the project – Adani variously reports a final capacity of the mine as 60, 40 and 25 million tonnes per year. The value of the subsidy could be greater or smaller, depending on these factors. The important thing for Queenslanders to realise is that they are providing a subsidy to a foreign-owned coal mine at a time when the world is moving away from coal.