We could raise billions if we taxed the coal industry properly.
On the first day back in Parliament after the NSW State Election, Abigail raised exactly this in a speech following question time, calling out the new Labor Government for refusing the pay rise that public sector workers deserve while this potential revenue stream sits untapped.
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD (14:42): We saw a really disappointing narrative during the election campaign. When either the Labor shadow Treasurer or the Liberal Treasurer at the time were asked about how they would pay for things, there was a false dichotomy between either raising more debt or cutting spending on infrastructure, or whatever measures were being used to scare voters at the time. Any discussion about revenue raising was lacking. Many great ideas about the sources of revenue that the Government could take advantage of have been put on the table. The top of those is what happened in Queensland where the Queensland Government rejigged its coal royalty scheme in order to make a more progressive scheme. The State already had a progressive scheme but the Government added a few more tiers. They were able to raise a significant amount of money from that.
The Australia Institute's analysis shows that if New South Wales had the same quite conservative rates that Queensland has, the State could have raised between $4 billion and $6 billion of extra revenue in this financial year. That just happens to be almost the same amount as that needed for a decent pay rise for workers in the public sector. I am quite concerned that we are going to end up with the new Labor Government saying that its hands are tied. I get that, because the Liberal-Nationals Government made a mess of the State's finances. When looking at how the State is going to pay for essential services and essential public sector workers and give them the wages they deserve, we will have to get a bit creative, and that means taxing the big end of town.