Queensland state budgetMonday, 11 June 2018
Yesterday the Treasurer Jackie Trad announced the Queensland state government’s budget. The state government has framed this budget as one that creates jobs, by investing in infrastructure, education and health to service the growing population. With private investment still $20bn lower per year than during the resources boom of 2014-2015, the public sector must fill the investment gap if the state is to grow and absorb the high population growth. Whilst there are few surprises in the budget with most of these programs already announced, the commitment to spending is increased by $3bn since the last budget. It also has a regional focus by increasing expenditure there.
§ The state economy is set to grow at a reasonable pace in 2018-19 at 3% which is lower than NSW or Victoria but higher than WA and South Australia.
§ The recent increase in coal and LNG prices has boosted state revenues
§ Unemployment remains stuck at 6.25% compared to a national average of 5.5% mostly as a result of weaker growth in regional areas following the mining resources downturn.
§ Strong population growth of 1.7% is second only to Victoria (2.4%). The state population is now over 5 million.
§ There are concerns that the apartment housing market will follow the southern capitals where values are falling.
§ The state government remains committed to a 50% renewable energy target by 2030.
§ The overall government debt (borrowings for long term infrastructure projects) is heading towards $80bn which makes it very difficult to regain the states AAA rating
Key Measures - capital expenditures
§ $45.8bn on infrastructure over 4 years. The largest capital works program since the 2011 flood recovery. This commitment is $3bn higher than in the last budget.
§ $11.6bn capital expenditure in 2018-19
Road and Rail
§ $4.9bn on road and rail
§ $1bn on M1 Pacific motorway upgrade between Varsity Lakes and Tugun
§ $160m over 4 years for Beerburrum to Nambour rail duplication
§ $733m on Cross River Rail programs, to take it to procurement.
§ $40m for station upgrades
§ $68m Ipswich Motorway upgrades between Rocklea and Darra
§ $48m on Centenary Motorway upgrades
§ $200m various road upgrades
§ $2m planning stage 3 Gold Coast light rail from Broadbeach to Gold Coast airport
§ $176m for Rockwood weir construction on the Fitzroy River
§ $125m for a new state of the art theatre at QPAC in Brisbane
§ $250m further funds for Townsville stadium
§ $75m for additional Townsville infrastructure improvements
§ $176m for Cairns Convention Centre expansions
§ $83m for Port of Gladstone upgrades
§ $115m for Mackay Ring road
§ $534m further finds to complete Toowoomba 2nd range crossing
§ $15m to help Sunshine Coast bid to receive the submarine internet cable come ashore
§ $36m for the Wangetti off road cycle trail north of Cairns
§ $330m over 5 years for Great Barrier Reef protection measures.
§ $17bn overall includes $985 million on new health capital works
§ $570m South East Queensland Hospital upgrades
§ $84.8m to upgrade Hervey Bay and Gladstone emergency departments and d
$14bn overall includes several new capital works:-
§ $308m for 6 new state high schools at Coomera, Yarrabilba, Ripley and Mango Hill.
§ $155m back to work program- support for employers taking on eligible unemployed workers
§ $180m on Skilling Queenslanders to work – targeted training programs.
There is currently a pipeline of up to $20bn in renewable energy projects with $4.2bn underway or committed. The government claims that equal priority is being given to both resources projects (such as Adani) and renewable energy projects despite its commitment to 50% renewables by 2030. Budget announcements included: -
§ $50m grant to support development of concentrated solar thermal storage projects
§ $47m Advancing Clean Energy Schools program
§ $70/tonne waste levy to prevent interstate businesses crossing into Queensland to dump waste. $100m fund to get recycling up and running
§ $371m to upgrade public transport ticketing systems with contactless and mobile phone and wearable technologies payment systems.
§ First home owners buyers grant reduced to $15,000 from $20,000
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