Royalty review an ‘abuse of taxpayers money’: LNP

TREASURER Jackie Trad has been accused of outsourcing her job to a "Labor mate" amid revelations the Government's gas royalty review will cost an eye-watering $100,000.

Ms Trad has finally revealed how much she expects to pay for the review being led by former South Australian premier Jay Weatherill.

Her answer followed a question to the parliament from Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington on exactly how much the former Labor premier would pocket from the lucrative job.

"All costs associated with the review, including the total cost of Mr Weatherill's contract, will depend on the number of submissions and industry requests for further consultation which require Mr Weatherill's involvement," she wrote in response.

"A total of $100,000 has been allocated to meet costs associated with the review."

 

Treasurer Jackie Trad decision to appoint Jay Weatherill to lead the review has infuriated the LNP. Picture: AAP Image/Glenn Hunt
Treasurer Jackie Trad decision to appoint Jay Weatherill to lead the review has infuriated the LNP. Picture: AAP Image/Glenn Hunt

 

Opposition Deputy Leader Tim Mander called the amount an "abuse of taxpayers' money".

"This outrageous deal shows Labor are working for themselves, not for Queenslanders," he said.

Mr Mander said Ms Trad was paying a "Labor mate" to do her job.

"Hardworking Queenslanders who are struggling under the rising cost of living shouldn't be slugged to fund a retirement windfall for failed Labor politicians."

A spokesman for the Government said the review, which was meant to be complete by the end of 2019, had been delayed due to the extensive industry feedback received and was expected to be finalised early this year.

Ms Trad announced the review in June last year along with a decision to lift the petroleum royalty rate from 10 per cent to 12.5 per cent in a move that will tip an extra $475 million into government coffers over four years.

 

Former South Australian premier Jay Weatherill is leading the gas royalty review.
Former South Australian premier Jay Weatherill is leading the gas royalty review.

 

The surprise announcement led to anger from big gas producers, who feared the 25 per cent rise would deter investment and cost jobs.

However, Mr Weatherill's appointment to the job was only made public in November, when it was revealed by The Courier-Mail.

Labor has previously argued Mr Weatherill's experience in developing SA's gas industry was vital in considering the make up of Queensland's scheme.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said he had been working constructively with Mr Weatherill's team on the review. "It's important to get this review right," he said.


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