Queensland coal miners blame retrenchments on royalty hikes

A survey of Queensland's coal miners reveals that new royalty hikes have compelled many to pursue cost cuts and implement worker retrenchments.

According to a new survey of the coal industry by the Queensland Resources Council 77% of respondents, including all ten of the state's top coal producers, said that port and rails costs, labor requirements and spending on exploration are "likely areas to be reduced."

The survey conducted by the Queensland Resources Council involved the CEO's of the ten biggest coal producers in the Australian tropical state as well as three exploratory firms.

Chief executive of the council Michael Roche said to ABC News that the coal industry currently confronts a barrage of adverse factors including a high Australian dollar, increased operating costs and a fall in spot prices for commodities.

Roche also says that the royalty hike recently introduced by the Queensland state government is only adding further heft to the burden felt by coal producers, and has turned the state into the "highest taxing coal jurisdiction globally."

"The combination of 30% company income tax and the new royalty rates will mean Queensland will carry an effective taxation rate of 50% on a typical coking coal operation," said Roche.