CSG regulation short-changed

THE Queensland Government will spend more than 10 times its coal seam gas regulation budget on rail ticket discounts for South-east Queenslanders in 2012-13.

Budget documents reveal the State Government will spend just $3.6 million to regulate the coal seam gas industry, while more than $39 million will be spent to give SEQ resident discounts on train tickets.

The free tickets were announced with much fanfare in June, with the cost backdated from then in the state budget released two weeks ago.

It will allow free travel for south-east Queenslanders around the region on the Translink rail network after nine journeys in a Monday-to-Sunday week.

While there was $3.6 million allocated in the budget for "coal seam regulation" for the 2012-13 financial year, no more money was budgeted for CSG regulation after that year.

Budget documents do show that an "industry-funded" fee would be created to recover the cost of regulatory and administrative activities from July 1, 2013.

But under the budget revenue measures for the fee, no revenue was included from the fee for the next four years, and the government would not provide any further details about the fee.

The budget did show the fee would be led by Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney's Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning.

But his office could provide no further detail on how the fee would be structured, or how much revenue the government expected it would create.

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