Hazelwood Coal Royalties Tax | December 09, 2016
What does Hazelwood closure mean for the coal royalties tax?
The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath has exposed another twist in the closure of the Hazelwood power station.
Ms Bath has questioned Treasurer Tim Pallas in parliament over plans for the coal royalties tax following the impending closure of the Hazelwood power station in March 2017. The controversial tax was increased by 300% in the 2016 budget. Questions are now being asked by Latrobe Valley residents about whether the remaining mine operators will be expected to make up the difference following the closure of the Hazelwood power station – and along with it the Hazelwood mine.
Ms Bath has said that uncertainty around the royalties tax was adding to serious concerns across Latrobe Valley communities about the wider implications of the Hazelwood news.
“Can the Treasurer rule out increasing the rate of the royalties again in next year’s budget, so that the remaining three stations will not be hit with an even higher tax bill to make up for the lost revenue from Hazelwood?” Ms Bath asked in parliament earlier this week.
The Nationals Member for Morwell Russell Northe has also continued to raise serious concerns over the implications for the Latrobe Valley over the Hazelwood closure.
“This doesn’t only impact the employees at Hazelwood. Contracting businesses are also looking at what staff they might have to let go as the work they have historically serviced across the energy sector will now be reduced,” said Mr Northe.
Speaking in the Latrobe Valley today, Ms Bath questioned the government’s true motivation behind the increased royalties tax.
“The Andrews Labor Government is more concerned about the drift of inner city voters to The Greens rather than with jobs in our rural communities. If Hazelwood was to close, it should have been a negotiated, staged closure.”
“I await the Treasurer’s response to my question. The government has already been caught out over its prediction that the Hazelwood closure would lead to 4% power hikes. Within a month, we already know it’s more like 10%.”