Queensland’s coal and petroleum royalties income has collapsed, wiping more than $2bn – about half the revenue initially forecast – from the state’s budget bottom line.
But while the global slump in the fossil fuel industry has impacted the pandemic-delayed Queensland 2020-21 budget, the state is betting heavily on a coal and gas-fired recovery in the coming years.
The budget forecasts that the volume of coal and petroleum exports will rebound and continue to grow. Energy market analysts say such an assumption is “delusional”.
Tim Buckley, the director of energy finance studies at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said the sharp drop in royalties was “stark evidence of the false promise of the fossil fuel industry to Queensland”.