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Cost of Living Payment and Gas Royalties Bill Introduction Speech

Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) (Royalties and Cost of Living Relief) Amendment Bill

I present a bill for an act to amend the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 to establish a scheme to provide cost-of-living relief for individuals and to increase rates of petroleum royalty payable by petroleum producers. I table the bill and explanatory notes and a statement of compatibility with human rights. I nominate the Economics and Governance Committee to consider the bill.

Tabled paper: Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) (Royalties and Cost of Living Relief) Amendment Bill 2022.
Tabled paper: Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) (Royalties and Cost of Living Relief) Amendment Bill 2022, explanatory notes.
Tabled paper: Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) (Royalties and Cost of Living Relief) Amendment Bill 2022, statement of compatibility with human rights.

As we head into Christmas, Queenslanders are doing it tough. While wages have stagnated, the cost of food, energy and housing is putting sickening pressure on low-income households, older Queenslanders, people who are renting and households with mortgages. They are facing some of the highest cost-of-living pressures in the state. The cost of rent and mortgage repayments has skyrocketed, putting tens of thousands of Queensland families into dire straits. Rents are going up by $50, $60 or $100 per week, forcing people out of their homes and into a cutthroat rental market. More and more owner-occupiers are pushed into mortgage stress. Nationwide, over a million households are at high risk of mortgage stress and hundreds of thousands of households could lose their homes. The cost of health care, gas, electricity, internet and phones has gone up. Things like toilet paper, tissues and toiletries have gone up. If you go to any grocery store or market across the state you will see that
the cost of vegetables, fruit, pet food, bread, meat and dairy is going up.

After a tough few years and with inflation hitting hard, we think that Queenslanders deserve a great Christmas with a Christmas bonus: a $500 cost-of-living payment provided by rich gas companies by tripling gas royalties in Queensland. While everyday Queenslanders are doing it tough, not everyone has been struggling. While everyday Queenslanders are struggling to pay rent and afford groceries, gas corporations have been laughing all the way to the bank. Gas companies have made almost $40 billion in profits over the past year off the back of soaring energy prices. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said that, despite increasing prices to record highs, gas corporations have had virtually no increase in the cost of gas production over the last year. In fact, if the government wants to tackle inflation in a way that does not make everyday Queenslanders suffer even more, they would hike up royalties on super high gas prices to discourage blatant price gouging by multinational gas corporations

This month the RBA admitted that inflation is not happening because people are buying more things. Retail volumes grew by 0.2 per cent in the September quarter. Instead, higher prices are being
driven by war, climate fuelled floods and corporate profiteering. The ABS and European Central Bank—


Member for South Brisbane, I am going to interrupt you. Please resume your seat. Member, I note that the explanatory notes to the bill titled Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) (Royalties and Cost of Living Relief) Amendment Bill commit the government to giving every adult aged 18 and above residing in Queensland as at 30 November 2022 a $500 cost-of-living payment funded by tripling the top tier of gas royalties during 2023.

It is clear that the bill is a revenue bill. On 17 November 2021 and 26 October 2022 I ruled private members’ bills introduced by you out of order. The first ruling was upheld by the House. This bill is not
only a revenue bill but also, as an appropriation bill, any money from royalties goes into the Consolidated Fund, in accordance with section 64 of the Constitution Act 2001, and a message is required for the appropriation from that fund pursuant to section 68 of that act. Do you have a message for the appropriation as required by section 68 of the Constitution of Queensland Act? I think not.


No, Speaker, but I note that— 


Member, I am still giving a ruling. Rules do mean something in this House. The bill is out of order on two bases: firstly, it is a revenue bill introduced by a private member; and, secondly, it is an appropriation bill that does not have a message and thus is contrary to section 68 of the Constitution. Section 68 states, ‘The Legislative Assembly must not originate or pass a vote, resolution or Bill’ without a message. The presentation of this bill cannot proceed any further and it is out of order.

I also note this is not the first and not the second but the third time you have wilfully and deliberately ignored the standing orders of the House and the rules of this parliament. I reserve my right in future to consider whether this may warrant the Ethics Committee’s consideration, as certainly it could be deemed a deliberate contempt of the House.


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