State makes bigger coal claim
The Victorian Government will take more royalties from some of the least efficient power stations in the country.
The Government says it will reap more than $250 million over four years by increasing the royalty rate charged per gigajoule of coal-fired energy from 7.6 cents to 22.8 per cents.
The measures are set to be announced in the state budget on Wednesday.
“The royalty rate hasn't changed in a decade and this will simply bring Victoria into line with the other states,” Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas said.
“Victoria has and will continue to have the lowest cost of energy production in Australia and power companies can easily absorb this change.”
New South Wales charges 25.2 cents in royalties per gigajoule, while Queensland charges 21.5 cents.
Victoria’s new measures should be in place by January 1 next year, and should bring about $252 million to Government coffers over four years.
The Essential Services Commission will reportedly be asked to make sure costs are not passed on to consumers.
Mining companies will pass on the costs, according to Opposition energy and resources spokesperson David Southwick.
“There's no doubt these mining companies will have to pass these taxes on to consumers,” he said.
“This mining tax is a 300 per cent tax grab and operators will no doubt have to pass the tax on to householders.”
Victoria gets 92 per cent of its electricity from brown coal, and it is home to about 430 billion tonnes of coal in underground supplies.
Its high moisture content means brown coal burning emits more carbon dioxide than other coals.