LNG the hero of the Budget

Queensland Treasury isn’t worried about large job losses in mining (see p. 42 of the Budget Strategy and Outlook):

Notwithstanding announced cuts to operations by some companies, mining-related employment is expected to rise further, as large-scale LNG and coal projects move into their most labour intensive phase of construction.

LNG royalties will start adding several hundreds of millions of dollars to consolidated revenue from 2014-15, when LNG exports start boosting the Queensland economy. As noted by Treasury in the Budget (p. 40):

With first gas exports targeted for 2014, LNG exports are projected to become Queensland’s second largest export after coal by 2015-16, surpassing $10 billion in that year.

With a third LNG processing plant coming on-line after the end of the budget forward estimates in 2015-16, the Government potentially will have several billion dollars in LNG royalties from 2016-17 to the end of the decade that it can use to fund its commitments at the next election. Hence I expect the fiscal austerity will only be temporary.

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