Jackie Trad has defended her gas royalties hike, saying it's time for the industry to pay more (AAP Image/Glenn Hunt)
It's been labelled a kick in the guts for Queensland's resources sector but Jackie Trad has defended her gas royalties hike, saying it's time for the industry to pay more.
Gas royalties will increase from 10 per cent to 12.5 per cent from July 1 to raise $476 million over four years after the state treasurer handed down her second budget.
The Queensland Resources Council claims the state has the highest gas royalties in Australia, with the hike hurting an industry which contributes so much to the government coffers.
The Palaszczuk government's relationship with the industry has been in the spotlight since Labor suffered heavy losses in the state at the recent federal election, with the result attributed to its perceived failure to accommodate Adani.
But Ms Trad said the Labor government has done plenty for the gas industry, including "incredibly competitive royalty rates" in its infancy.
"We think now is the time for the gas industry to pay a little bit more back to the people of Queensland for their resource," she told the ABC on Wednesday.
"Now, the gas industry is very well established. Last year, it grew by more than 40 per cent.
"We want to see the balance right - the industry grow, but we want to see a return back to the Queensland taxpayer."
She admitted the industry was given no warning of the hike prior to the budget announcement.
Ms Trad revealed a surplus for 2019/20 on Tuesday but with a whopping estimated $78.7 billion in total government debt, with small to medium businesses to get a tax cut.
But land taxes will also be hiked to fund record government spending on hospitals, schools and roads.
That debt figure is expected to blow out to more than $90 billion in four years.
But Ms Trad says the rise in debt is manageable.
She also says it is necessary to help create more jobs, keep people employed and keep the state's $350 billion economy ticking over.
The Liberal National Party criticised the government on a number of its budget measures.
LNP leader Deb Frecklington said it was bad budget that Queenslanders can't afford.
"This is a budget of higher taxes, more debt, less jobs, and with the petroleum hike, this will only bring about less jobs for all of Queensland," she said.
Some people will be getting tax cuts.
Small businesses will benefit from an increase in the exemption threshold for income tax liability to $1.3 million.
There is also rate cut of one per cent for regional small business employers with 85 per cent of their workers in regional areas.
© AAP 2019