THE hints from the Budget that Treasurer Wayne Swan will release tonight are doing little to ease the mining industry's frayed nerves.
Now beholden to a new carbon tax and mining tax - which are in place from July 1 - the Treasurer has also warned the "rivers of gold" were drying up as the Global Financial Crisis eroded the taxes flowing into government coffers.
With Mr Swan's non-negotiable goal to return to surplus, the Queensland Resources Council feared heavy industry could be treated like a cash-filled piñata.
QRC chief Michael Roche said Mr Swan might squeeze the industry for those last dollars to get the Federal Budget back into the black.
"Clearly our biggest fear is that the Federal Government is tempted to go for a short-term revenue grab from the resources sector," he said.
"Our hope is that the Budget helps position the competitiveness and productivity of the resources sector so we can fend off serious competition to supply huge growth opportunities in India and China."
Mr Roche said the Federal Government needed to invest in those towns where a booming industry was challenging communities and infrastructure.
The Treasurer told APN there was no denying the contributions made by the resources sector
"That's why the Government is directing a large portion of the revenue from the MRRT to infrastructure in our great mining regions like Queensland, and 1.4 million Queensland workers will benefit through increases to superannuation," Mr Swan said.
"And 562,000 Queensland small businesses will benefit though our $6500 instant asset write off, because we also understand not all businesses are in the fast lane."
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