The Palaszczuk Government has today unveiled a list of vital funding measures that Queenslanders need to see in Tuesday night’s Federal Budget.
“Thanks to the way Queenslanders have responded to this health crisis, we’re able to focus our attention more intently on rebuilding our economy,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“We have a great opportunity to build back better here in Queensland. But that won’t be achievable without significant investment from the Federal Government.
“The Prime Minister has spoken publicly about borrowing to build. That’s what we’re doing at a state level and that’s what we want to see in Tuesday’s Federal Budget – more federal funding for Queensland projects.
“Queenslanders deserve their fair share. That’s all we’re asking for and that’s what we hope to see on Tuesday night.”
Treasurer and Minister for Investment Cameron Dick said it was time for Prime Minister Scott Morrison to stop announcing and start delivering.
“The results are in and Queensland is still the place to be.” The Treasurer said.
“Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics last week showed that in 2020, more than 30,000 people from elsewhere in Australia moved to Queensland – that’s more than 80 people choosing to become Queenslanders every single day.
“That number puts Queensland first with daylight second.
“This population gain is good for Queensland, because it’s a driver for jobs growth and economic growth.
“But we need to be able to accommodate these new Queenslanders, and give them the access to housing, health and education that all Queenslanders deserve.
“I’m particularly concerned about a group that is the fastest growing cohort in Australia of people at risk of homelessness – single women who don’t own their own homes.
“We know that over time, the Federal Government needs to boost the superannuation holding of women in particular, but right now there’s an urgent need to help women approaching retirement.
“In Tuesday’s budget, Scott Morrison needs to stop the spin and actually deliver for these vulnerable women through Commonwealth grant assistance.
“And he needs to pay up and deliver for Queensland.”
The Palaszczuk Government’s Queensland priorities from the Federal budget include support for:
- Job and wages growth
- Road and rail investment
- Infrastructure and manufacturing investment
- Sustainable energy
- Access to early childhood education
as well as specific initiatives for areas including Townsville, Bundaberg and the Granite belt.
“Josh Frydenberg says this will not be an austerity budget and I am pleased to hear that,” the Treasurer said.
“What concerns me is that so far all we’ve seen from the Federal Government is announcements about grants programs, and they have a pretty poor track record of getting those funds to Queensland projects that deserve them.
“In Last October’s Federal budget, the Morrison Government only delivered 10% of its promised new infrastructure spend this year.
“That measly $6.7 billion, spread thinly across all states and territories, is less than half of what the Palaszczuk Government has committed to spend on infrastructure in Queensland this year.” QUEENSLAND’S FAIR SHARE FROM CANBERRA
- Commit $11.4 million each year to continue the Social and Community Services Supplementation under the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement to sustain employment and wages in the social services sector, which predominantly employs female workers.
- Forgive Queensland’s $263.1 million historical housing-related debt to support growth in the social and affordable housing sectors, in the same way as has been done for South Australia and Tasmania.
- Continuing the National Rental Affordability Scheme to ensure vulnerable Queenslanders have continued access to affordable housing.
- Resource primary healthcare support where appropriate for NDIS participants and aged resident patients in public hospitals to ease demand pressures on the health system.
- Ongoing, targeted support after the expiry of JobKeeper for Queensland’s regions and businesses, particularly the international tourism sector, impacted by the necessary closure of international borders to manage the global COVID-19 pandemic.
- Ensure crucial funding under the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund flows to support catalytic and job supporting projects in Queensland.
- Commit to matched funding to support construction of the Bundaberg East flood levee to protect homes and businesses from major flood events, as well as creating jobs in the region.
- End the short-term extensions to funding universal access to quality early childhood education and committing to long-term funding. A five-year agreement, recommended by an independent review, is long overdue and is needed to provide greater certainty for service providers and families and will support women’s economic security and productivity.
- Ensure Queensland receives its fair share of funding and matched contributions from the $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative.
- Ongoing support for key water infrastructure projects including the Emu Swamp Dam Project (Granite Belt Irrigation Project) which would support up to 700 direct and indirect permanent jobs and 250 construction jobs.
- Support the implementation of recommendations of the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements, including the development of an Australian-based and registered sovereign aerial firefighting capability.
- Provide fair and adequate funding to support the recalibration of the vaccination rollout to reflect the greater role that the Queensland Government will now play, as agreed by National Cabinet on 22 April 2021.
- Ensure Queensland’s fair share of federal funding to deliver sustainable, low emissions energy to support industry and enable economic transformation, including investment to attract new industries such as hydrogen and green manufacturing.
- Commit $1 billion over the next 10 years to address overcrowding in remote indigenous housing in Queensland, noting the National Agreement on Closing the Gap which includes a joint target that ‘by 2031 increase the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in appropriately size (not overcrowded) housing by 88 per cent’. We know safe and secure housing is essential to delivering improved health outcomes, greater participation in education and employment, giving children the best start to life and reducing incidences of domestic and family violence. Remote housing funding also supports critically needed jobs and apprenticeships in remote and rural communities.
- Agree to extend the National Partnership for COVID-19 Domestic and Family Violence Responses for 12 months.
- Provide funding for critical road infrastructure projects across Queensland, including:
- $240 million towards a $300 million project to duplicate sections of the Cairns Western Arterial Road
- $256 million towards a $320 million project to deliver the Mooloolah River Interchange
- $400 million towards a $500 million additional funding boost for the Bruce Highway for investment in priority sections between Gladstone and Rockhampton and Mackay and Proserpine, and
- $10 million towards a $20 million commitment to continue to improve safety and capacity on Caboolture–Bribie Island Road.
- Commit to contribute to vital upgrades being delivered across Queensland’s transport network, including:
- additional investment of $126.6 million to maintain its 38 per cent share toward delivery of the Gold Coast Light Rail
- a commitment of $800 million towards a $1 billion long-term program of works on the Inland Freight Route between Charters Towers and the New South Wales border, and
- $178.08 million towards $356.16 million to undertake corridor preservation and acquisition activities for the Kuraby to Beenleigh rail upgrade project.
- Support the Queensland Government’s investment in education and skills training infrastructure, including:
- funding for the new National Agreement on Skills that provides the State full autonomy of its skills system and
- a commitment for $32 million to build on the $10 million already invested by the Queensland Government for the new Robina TAFE campus to meet demand in the southern Gold Coast region.
- Support Queensland’s events and sport infrastructure, including:
- match the Queensland Government investment of $40 million for the Wellcamp Entertainment Precinct and
- commit $20 million to the Sunshine Coast Stadium expansion.
- Reallocate the $195 million under the Townsville City Deal towards:
- Lansdown Eco-Industrial Precinct ($34 million)
- Recycled Water for a Townsville Hydrogen Hub ($31.2 million)
- NQ SPARK Simulation Training Centre ($35 million)
- Royal Flying Doctor Service Townsville Base upgrade ($15 million)
- Tropical Aquaculture Accelerator ($29.8 million)
- Ross River Dam to Douglas Water Treatment Plant Pipeline Duplication ($35 million) and
- New Economy Minerals common user infrastructure ($15 million).
- In order to avoid the serious horizontal fiscal equalisation issue, it is also vital that these priority Townsville projects do not affect GST calculations.