Trad's plan could be an act of extortion: Frecklington

Queensland Treasurer Jackie Trad has been referred to the CCC


Politics
Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad has been referred to the CCC, which has been asked to examine whether she has tried to extort money from mining companies. Photo: AAP

Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad has been referred to the CCC, which has been asked to examine whether she has tried to extort money from mining companies. Photo: AAP

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The CCC has been asked to investigate whether Treasurer and Deputy Premier Jackie Trad has tried to extort money from the resources sector.

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QUEENSLAND Treasurer Jackie Trad has been referred to the state's corporate watchdog amid claims she is trying to "extort" money from resource companies.

On May 29 Ms Trad outlined plans to freeze royalites for three years if mine owners agreed to support a $100 million Community Infrastructure Fund.

It has been suggested the miners would contribute up to $70m to the fund with the remainder coming from government coffers.

The federal government has accused Ms Trad of "highway robbery" but she denies forcing miners to accept the terms by threatening higher taxes.

State Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington has written to the head of the Crime and Corruption Commission, saying the circumstances which led to the fund "may constitute an offence of extortion under section 415 of the Criminal Code 1899".

"Queensland is not some tin pot dictatorship and that's why I've written to the CCC," Ms Frecklington said.

"What we have is a $70 million shakedown of the resources industry. This is extortion, it is blackmail, no matter how you look at it.

"This is a shakedown of the resources industry to try to prevent them from ever opening a new mine in Queensland again.

"The Treasurer should be held to a higher standard and that is exactly why the CCC will be looking into this matter."

Ms Frecklington has also taken aim at Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and her stance on the mining sector.

"Annastacia Palaszczuk will do anything she can to put obstacles in the way of this vitally important job creating industry in Queensland," Ms Frecklington said.

"I will fight each and every day for jobs in Queensland. We will welcome jobs for regional Queensland, that is exactly what regional Queensland has been screaming out for.

"It beggars belief that Annastacia Palaszczuk continually puts obstacles in the way of resources companies."

A spokeswoman for Ms Trad, who is also the Deputy Premier, said the Opposition's referral was a cheap political move and would waste the CCC's time.

"(The) leader of the Opposition's comments are ridiculous," the spokeswoman said. "It's disappointing that the LNP is wasting the CCC's time in this way."

Ms Palaszczuk said the fund was a voluntary scheme and another way to help resource-based communities.

It is believed Ms Trad has ruled out increasing coal royalties in next month's state budget.

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