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The Government of Queensland has moved to allow all mining companies in the region to defer payroll tax payments for six months, in response to coronavirus pandemic.

The government is creating a $500m loan facility to extend the coronavirus payroll tax deferral to mining companies.

According to the government, the payroll tax deferral is expected to benefit mining firms and the sector’s 14,400 suppliers, who employ over 372,000 Queensland residents.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said: “The Government’s deferral of payroll tax will benefit mining companies and thousands of those supplier companies across Queensland, whether they are in Moranbah in central Queensland, Morningside in Brisbane or Mount Isa.

“It will mean payroll tax payments would not be due until 31 July.”

“Our industry welcomes the Government’s efforts to support business in response to Covid-19. More measures will be needed. One of the most important forms of support will be the Government’s continued commitment to stability on royalties, taxes, fees and charges.”

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By GlobalData

Macfarlane added that the mining firms had previously contributed $5bn in royalties and other taxes to the Government of Queensland, as well as $6.1bn in wages paid to workers.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 death toll has increased to more than 8,800 globally. A total of over 218,800 confirmed cases and 84,000 recoveries have been reported as of the end of 18 March.

The World Health Organization noted that 80% of global cases were reported in the Western Pacific and European regions.

The agency urged isolation, testing and treatment of every suspected case, along with tracing of every contact, in all countries.