Mining towns kept waiting for a year
A JOINT government and business fund to pay for community infrastructure in mining towns has still not been set up, close to a year after it was announced.
But mining companies claim they are close to striking a deal over the fund, which would see them tip in cash in return for an extended freeze on coal royalties.
The $100 million Resources Community Infrastructure Fund was announced in last year's State Budget, with $30 million allocated from state coffers over three years.
Treasurer Jackie Trad confirmed there was still no industry funding, but said negotiations were continuing.
"Positive discussions with resource industry parties are progressing to establish the detailed arrangements required between industry and the state regarding the RCIF," Ms Trad said.
"Industry contributions to the voluntary fund are expected to commence when those arrangements are settled."
Ms Trad made the statement in response to a question on notice from Greens MP Michael Berkman, who asked "whether the Government is planning to raise coal royalties to make sure coal mining companies pay their fair share".
BHP and Peabody have agreed in principle to support the fund.
Other companies are also expected to contribute to avoid royalty hikes.
Ms Trad froze royalties in last year's Budget but left open a change if mining firms did not back the fund.
Queensland Resources Council chief Ian Macfarlane said the industry wanted the deal finalised to give miners certainty.