Queensland Resource Council CEO Ian Macfarlane, Mackay mayor Greg Williamson, Isaac region mayor Anne Baker and Whitsunday region mayor Andrew Wilcox sign the MOU.
Queensland Resource Council CEO Ian Macfarlane, Mackay mayor Greg Williamson, Isaac region mayor Anne Baker and Whitsunday region mayor Andrew Wilcox sign the MOU. Rainee Shepperson

North Queensland mayors unite to demand return on royalties

A BOND has been forged between councils and the Queensland Resources Council in an effort to unite their goals in the mineral and energy sector.

Mackay mayor Greg Williamson, Isaac region mayor Anne Baker and Whitsunday regional mayor Andrew Wilcoxhave signed an MOU with the council.

The MOU sets out common initiatives for sustainable development including promotion, education, and the reinvestment of royalties in the region.

Council CEO Ian Macfarlane said the the MOU was about demanding a return on investment.

"Billions in royalties are earned in this region and it flows down to Brisbane," Mr Macfarlane said.

"The discussions I have been having with the greater Whitsunday mayors is that they want to see a fair share of that coming back to the region to pay for roads and infrastructure."

Cr Baker said the signing of the MOU was not symbolic.

"It's significant and purposeful and it's for the benefit of the people that live in this region," she said.

"The mining industry that is majority birthed from this region contributes to the roads, the bridges, the police, the nurses, and the building of schools across this state.

"There is absolutely no reason why there should not be a fixed allocation of the return on the investment that goes out of this region, back into this region."

Peak Downs Highway improvement is one project Cr Williamson wanted to see that investment spent on.

"The Peak Downs Highway carries all of the fuel and economic resources of the area, and it is a goat track," he said.

"So when we are talking about the billions of royalties coming out of this region, we get a little bit disturbed when the Queensland Government spends $4 billion on a Brisbane project, while we have one of the major highways delivering the economic output, and it's still a two-lane road," he said.

The greater Whitsunday region produces 71 per cent of Queensland's metallurgical coal and 31 per cent of Queensland's thermal coal.