Queensland is growing and changing. Our state recently welcomed the birth of the five millionth Queenslander and our population is increasing at one of the fastest rates in the country.
At the same time, we’re experiencing rapid change, as technological innovation continues to transform our lives, disrupting labour markets with the creation of new jobs even as it displaces others.
Labor is the party of progress and the Palaszczuk Government embraces the opportunities provided by this growth and change, while also facing up to the challenges. This government, in the proud tradition of all Labor governments, believes it has a strong role to play in helping people deal with these challenges and to ensure that no one is left behind.
That’s why this Budget is unashamedly about delivering. We are delivering the infrastructure, skills and services that equip us to manage growth and navigate the changing economy.
Delivering infrastructure allows us to keep pace with population growth and accommodate more people without compromising our quality of life. But it also means more jobs now in construction and more jobs in the future as better infrastructure is the foundation for a strong economy.
That’s why the 2018-19 Budget, the Palaszczuk Government’s fourth, invests almost $45.8 billion in infrastructure over four years. This will be the biggest capital works program since the 2011 flood recovery effort. From projects such as the Cairns Convention Centre to Cross River Rail, the M1 and Bruce Highway upgrades, to the Rookwood Weir and Townsville Stadium, we are working to deliver the projects that will drive the economy, deliver better services and support tens of thousands of Queensland jobs every year.
In a fast growing state we want to ensure that growth is inclusive and that we take action now to create an economy that works for all, wherever they choose to live. We also want Queenslanders to feel equipped and inspired to participate and succeed in the modern economy.
That’s why we are continuing to deliver on skills through investment in the Back to Work and Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiatives to increase workforce participation, training and apprenticeships. Through the Palaszczuk Government’s landmark Advance Queensland initiative we will ensure we back our entrepreneurial spirit and grow opportunities for business and industry.
We also know our small businesses are critical to the success of the overall economy and the further extension of the 50 per cent payroll tax rebate for Queensland businesses, to employ apprentices and trainees, until June 2019 will continue to provide employers with extra support to invest in our workforce of the future.
This budget also delivers the services Queenslanders rely on. Every day our teachers, doctors, nurses, police and firefighters are out there making a difference in our community – educating our children, keeping us healthy and safe. This Budget is delivering on our commitment for more than 3,700 teachers, 3,500 additional nurses and midwives, 400 police in priority areas and 100 extra firefighters over four years.
Through a record $17.3 billion health budget and $14.1 billion education and training budget, we are delivering a great start for our children and supporting healthy Queenslanders, delivering the world-class services and equipment our communities need to thrive.
This is a Budget for the future: delivering the infrastructure, skills and services that will help us to manage growth and ensure we can all share in future prosperity. It’s a Budget for all Queenslanders. Five million strong and growing.
The Honourable Jackie Trad MP
Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
The Palaszczuk Government’s priority is jobs for Queenslanders. Queensland continues to be one of the leading job-creation states of Australia with approximately 150,000 jobs created since January 2015.
Our $45.8 billion capital program over the next four years represents the biggest infrastructure spend since the 2011 flood recovery effort and invests for the future. This will not only deliver the essential infrastructure needed to meet the demands of our fast-growing state, it will also support tens of thousands of additional Queensland jobs each year.
With Queensland’s population recently reaching five million, this capital program will help meet the increasing service needs of Queenslanders as well as driving increased productivity and efficiency for Queensland’s industries.
As Queensland transitions to a more innovative, diverse and productive economy, it is vital that our infrastructure helps Queenslanders make the most of our opportunities and provides long-term sustainable benefits to ensure we continue creating jobs for the future.
The Palaszczuk Government has a clear focus on improving financial planning, and importantly, the timely delivery of essential infrastructure for Queensland. This has resulted in an improvement in the amount of capital expenditure that is actually delivered, as a proportion of the Budget allocation.
Across Queensland, public infrastructure is a driver for transformative change, encouraging private investment and making our communities better places to live.
Our plan will deliver the right projects in the right place at the right time. From Bruce Highway upgrades to Rookwood Weir, Beerburrum to Nambour rail duplication and the M1 – this Budget invests in building better infrastructure for all Queenslanders.
The Government’s substantial infrastructure investment directly generates significant employment during construction. It is estimated that Queensland’s $11.6 billion capital works program in 2018-19 will directly support more than 38,000 jobs.
In addition to the more immediate construction-related jobs generated through the capital works program, the resulting infrastructure will support and create future jobs, by attracting and encouraging private sector investment, increasing the productivity, efficiency and competitiveness of the state’s businesses and industries, and expanding the long-term productive capacity of the economy.
Cross River Rail
Cross River Rail is an example of how game changing infrastructure drives job creation and economic prosperity.
By removing the bottleneck at the core of South East Queensland’s rail network, Cross River Rail will allow more trains to run more often enabling a ‘turn-up-and-go’ transport system that benefits the entire region.
During the five-year construction period, Cross River Rail will support an average of 1,500 jobs each year and up to 3,000 jobs in the most intensive year of construction.
Every dollar invested in the project will return $1.41 in economic benefits, and the total benefits of the project will exceed costs by $1.9 billion.
Our focus is on delivering secure, long-term jobs in regional Queensland. Queensland is the most decentralised mainland state in Australia, with some of the country’s largest cities and important economic zones outside of South East Queensland.
The 2018-19 Budget provides a range of critical infrastructure and other important initiatives designed to support our regions. Around 65 per cent of total infrastructure funding in 2018-19 is allocated outside of Greater Brisbane. Programs and initiatives for regional Queensland include:
- $200 million over three years to extend the Works for Queensland program, which continues to support job-creating maintenance and minor infrastructure works across regional Queensland, bringing the total funding of this program to $600 million over five years.
- $40 million over two years for the Growth Area and Regional Infrastructure Investment Fund in outer urban and regional Queensland.
- $55.4 million increased funding over four years to support country racing clubs including, funding for infrastructure across Queensland.
- Up to $10 million allocated from the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund to develop a business case and the capital investment for an export distribution centre in regional Queensland.
- $5 million in 2018-19 under the Western Roads Upgrade Supplement to assist local governments to maintain local workforces. This is in addition to the over $800 million allocated in the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program 2018-19 to 2021-22 for the North West, Central West and South West Districts.
- $176 million over four years to support the construction of the Rookwood Weir on the Fitzroy River, at a total of $352 million, in partnership with the Australian Government. This will provide drought contingency water supplies for Rockhampton, Gladstone and Yeppoon whilst also enhancing agricultural and industrial development opportunities.
- Continued construction of the new $250 million North Queensland Stadium, delivered in partnership with the Townsville City Council, the Australian Government and with the support of the National Rugby League and North Queensland Cowboys.
- $176 million over two years to extend the Cairns Convention Centre, which will provide better facilities and activate other investment in supporting infrastructure in the region.
- $75.1 million towards ongoing development at the ports of Townsville and Lucinda, including $44.3 million to continue preparatory and initial works to widen Townsville’s shipping channel to allow larger vessels to access the port at a total cost of $193.5 million.
- $10.2 million in 2018-19 to upgrade courthouses in Rockhampton and Townsville.
- $13.5 million to continue the Mon Repos Turtle Centre redevelopment near Bundaberg.
- $5 million towards the construction of the Cairns Performing Arts Centre.
- $83.5 million towards ongoing development of the Port of Gladstone, and additional works at the Port of Bundaberg and the Port of Rockhampton.
- $115 million to continue the construction of the Mackay Ring Road (Stage 1), at a total estimated cost of $497.4 million, in partnership with the Australian Government.
- $534.3 million to continue the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing project, at a total cost of $1.606 billion, in partnership with the Australian Government.
Other initiatives that continue to support regional Queensland include:
- Up to $34.6 million in 2018-19 for the continuation of the Drought Assistance Package, including the Drought Relief Assistance Scheme to provide freight subsidies and emergency water infrastructure rebates to support producers and communities affected by drought across Queensland.
- $4.2 million over four years to retain and expand the Queensland Water Regional Alliance Program.
- Driving Queensland Agriculture and Rural Jobs Growth, to include $19.2 million over three years to support rural jobs, rural economic development and feral pest management.
- $5.6 million over three years from 2017-18 to support the continuation of the Panama Disease Tropical Race 4 Program.
Strong economic and jobs growth in South East Queensland is attracting more people, with our population growing at one of the fastest rates in Australia. This Budget plans for this growth by investing in our long-term infrastructure needs, which will deliver positive and transformational change.
The 2018-19 Budget delivers a range of infrastructure projects designed to build for the future of South East Queensland. These include:
- The commencement of planning of the M1 Pacific Motorway upgrades, in partnership with the Australian Government:
- between Varsity Lakes and Tugun on the Queensland/New South Wales border at a total estimated cost of $1.03 billion
- between Eight Mile Plains to Daisy Hill at a total estimated cost of $749 million.
- $160.8 million over four years towards the Beerburrum to Nambour Rail duplication project to address the infrastructure and capacity constraints on this section of the North Coast Line. Detailed design will commence in 2018-19, with construction to be delivered in stages based on further negotiations with the Australian Government.
- $40.5 million to upgrade accessibility at train stations, including Strathpine, Boondall, Morayfield, Southbank, Cannon Hill, Dakabin and Buranda.
- $68 million to upgrade a section of the Ipswich Motorway between Rocklea and Darra, at a total cost of $400 million, in partnership with the Australian Government.
- $50 million to upgrade the Pacific Motorway/Gateway Motorway merge, in partnership with the Australian Government at a total cost of $190 million.
- $20 million over four years from 2017-18 to widen the Mount Lindesay Highway to four lanes. These works will also raise the road for flood-proofing.
- $88.6 million over four years from 2017-18 to significantly expand park ‘n’ ride capacity at Salisbury, Darra, Lawnton, Lindum, Geebung, Virginia and Springfield train stations and $25.5 million for Greenbank and Eight Mile Plains bus stations.
- $53 million over five years from 2017-18 for the Northern Transitway to deliver continuous dedicated bus lanes during peak hours from Chermside to Kedron, while retaining all existing lanes.
- $22 million over four years from 2017-18 to deliver the Eastern Transitway with upgrades to five major intersections, located at Cavendish Road, Bennetts Road, Boundary Road, Gallipoli Road and Creek Road, which will include bus priority measures on Old Cleveland Road.
- $48 million over four years from 2017-18 for the Centenary Motorway upgrade bringing total funding to $65 million.
The Palaszczuk Government will also continue to work with developers of the Queen’s Wharf leisure and entertainment precinct under construction in the Brisbane CBD as well as those behind the proposed Eagle Street Pier and Brisbane Live projects which will have the potential to reshape Queensland’s capital.
The Palaszczuk Government’s economic plan has a strong focus on innovation and investing in our workforce. By harnessing innovation and having people with the right skills, Queensland’s modern economy will continue to grow.
In a globally competitive market we need to ensure we are well positioned to create jobs in a strong economy. Our goal is to support Queenslanders to participate and succeed in the modern economy.
A key Palaszczuk Government initiative is the Advance Queensland program which aims to support the knowledge-based jobs of the future and help position the state as an attractive investment destination with a strong innovation and entrepreneurial culture. Additional funding in the 2018-19 Budget will bring the overall Advance Queensland support to $650 million since it was launched in 2015-16.
This Budget includes a $73 million increased investment over four years in the Advance Queensland Foundations for the Future initiative, which will back our entrepreneurs through the Ignite Ideas program, Industry Research Fellowships and the Backing Queensland Entrepreneurs program.
Additional funding of $50 million over five years has also been provided to support projects like the expansion of ‘The Precinct’, Queensland’s flagship hub for start-ups in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, the Clem Jones Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research, and a range of programs to drive and scale innovation in Queensland.
Having businesses headquartered locally means job opportunities for Queenslanders. $40 million over two years has been provided to extend the Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Fund which will continue to attract interstate and overseas businesses considering moving to Queensland, or Queensland-based businesses interested in expanding.
Getting Queenslanders Back to Work is the Palaszczuk Government’s key priority. This successful initiative has seen over 13,600 employees hired by more than 6,700 employers across Queensland since it commenced in 2016. The Back to Work initiative offers payments to employers who hire eligible unemployed jobseekers.
With a focus on delivering secure, long-term jobs in regional Queensland, we are investing a further $155 million to extend the Back to Work regional program to continue to provide employer support payments to employers hiring eligible unemployed jobseekers.
To respond to significant labour market challenges in targeted areas of South East Queensland, a further $20.5 million will be invested for support payments to employers who hire them.
Skilling Queenslanders for Work is another successful initiative that supports jobs for Queenslanders by providing opportunities for those who need it through tailored, community-based support, assisting more than 28,800 individuals across Queensland since 2015.
Ensuring Queenslanders have access to the right training opportunities is essential to ensure they can transition into new roles, engage in new types of work and continue to benefit from Queensland’s prosperity in a changing global environment. This Budget delivers $180 million over three years to boost Skilling Queenslanders for Work to increase workforce participation through a range of targeted skills and training programs, taking the total funding available to $420 million over six years.
The Palaszczuk Government is supporting Queensland businesses to grow, create jobs and boost Queensland’s economy.
Key programs that support Queensland businesses, including the estimated 437,000 small to medium businesses that call Queensland home, include:
Payroll tax rebates
Getting Queenslanders back to work also means making it easier for businesses to employ apprentices and trainees through payroll tax rebates. This Budget commits $26 million to extend the increased payroll tax rebate initiative (maintaining it at 50 per cent) until June 2019, supporting up to 26,000 apprentices and trainees. Since the introduction of the rebate in 2015-16, over 4,600 businesses have claimed the rebate with a total value of $50 million to date.
Business Development Fund
A further $40 million has been allocated over two years to continue the successful Business Development Fund program which involves an investment by the State in innovative businesses, helping them to grow and support the state’s economy while facilitating the development of a sustainable private market for venture capital finance in Queensland. The fund has already invested $28.9 million in 24 businesses. These businesses tap into a range of different areas, such as information technology, health care, renewable energy and consumer services.
Among those to have received investments from the State include:
- Tritium Holdings which manufactures fast chargers for electric vehicles.
- The Water & Carbon Group which designs, builds and operates wastewater treatment systems using innovative systems with low energy and sustainable engineered solutions.
- Find-Me Technologies which has developed an emergency alert system on a watch targeted at loved ones, carers and people with dementia.
- PERKii a water and juice-based drink with one billion microencapsulated probiotics.
- Lawcadia an online business-to-business marketplace for legal services procurement.
Education is the key to ensuring every Queenslander can achieve their full potential. We are investing in world-class education for our children through a record education and training budget of $14.1 billion in 2018-19. This means more teachers, and improvements to schools and training facilities across Queensland.
Since March 2015 an additional 3,634 teachers and 1,135 teacher aides, have been employed to provide our children the best possible start. The Palaszczuk Government has committed to employing an additional 3,700 teachers over the next four years. As well as bolstering frontline education and training outcomes, this Budget will deliver:
- $308 million over six years for the Building Future Schools Fund, bringing total funding to $808 million across seven years, to deliver world-class learning environments for students, and to address enrolment growth pressures in state schools. New state high schools will be built at Coomera, Yarrabilba, Ripley and Mango Hill. A new primary school is to be built at Ripley and a new special school is to be built at Caboolture.
- $135 million over three years to the non-state schooling sector to support infrastructure to meet the needs of Queensland’s growing student population.
- $235 million over four years to substantially refurbish and upgrade 17 state schools across Queensland with each school to receive at least $10 million for the works.
- $25.6 million over two years to deliver upgrades and renewal works at 31 state primary and high schools.
- Up to $85 million over three years for the redevelopment, refurbishment and expansion of key high-need TAFE facilities at Pimlico (Townsville), Cairns, Mount Gravatt, Toowoomba and within the regions of the Gold Coast and Redlands.
- $14.4 million over four years for additional instrumental music teachers and musical instruments for schools as part of the World-Class Education election commitment.
- $1 million over four years from 2017-18 to Foodbank Queensland to expand the School Breakfast Program to additional schools across Queensland.
We know developing a love of reading from an early age is vital to give Queensland kids a head-start. That is why we are investing $20 million over four years to continue the First 5 Forever program. The program builds strong early years literacy foundations for children up to five years, by directly connecting parents and caregivers to a range of resources at public libraries across Queensland.
Queenslanders are living longer and healthier lives. A record health budget means doctors and nurses will have the best facilities to deliver world-class health care. Beyond hospital upgrades we are investing in people as we deliver on our election commitment, adding 3,500 new nurses and midwives over four years.
The 2018-19 Budget provides a record $17.3 billion in operating funding, as well as a $985.5 million capital program, to continue to deliver first-class health services to Queenslanders. This includes investments in our public hospital and ambulance services and facilities, as well as mental health, drug and alcohol services, community health services, and research and scientific services.
Highlights of the 2018-19 health capital program include:
- Increased funding of $570.8 million over six years from 2017-18 as part of the $679 million Building Better Hospitals package to enhance public hospital capacity and services in the South East Queensland growth corridor, including for redevelopments at the Logan, Caboolture and Ipswich Hospitals.
- $84.8 million as part of the Enhancing Regional Hospitals Program, for upgrades of the Hervey Bay and Gladstone emergency departments, redevelopment of Roma Hospital and repurposing of the Caloundra Health Service.
- $53.3 million for projects as part of the Rural and Regional Infrastructure Package across Queensland, including in Blackall, Kingaroy and Maryborough.
- Increased funding of $50 million in 2018-19 to support the replacement of essential medical equipment such as computed tomography (CT) scanners, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners and surgical equipment.
- $28.1 million for adolescent mental health facilities in South East Queensland, including a new Adolescent Extended Treatment Facility at The Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane.
The Budget also provides:
- Increased funding of $154.7 million over two years for the continued delivery of the Specialist Outpatient Strategy to ensure patients continue to have timely access to outpatient appointments.
- Increased funding of $109.6 million over two years to increase the number of nurse navigators in Queensland public hospitals to 400.
- $57 million over four years from 2017-18 to recruit another 100 midwives to safely meet the needs of patients in their care.
Restoring frontline staff
Since March 2015 we have employed an extra:
- 4,828 nurses
- 1,488 health practitioners, professionals and technicians
- 1,605 doctors
- 376 ambulance officers
Every day our frontline heroes work hard to keep our community safe, with the 2018-19 Budget providing $3.5 billion to help them do this. This Budget delivers more frontline police and firefighters to protect Queenslanders and provides them with the tools they need to do their job. We are supporting Queensland’s justice system with improved facilities and additional resources.
The Palaszczuk Government is protecting Queenslanders and the 2018-19 Budget delivers significant funding for a range of new and ongoing initiatives. These include:
- Additional funding of $29.5 million over four years for an additional 100 firefighters and 12 fire communication officers to help the community prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from the impact of fire and emergency events.
- An additional $171.9 million over four years for 400 police officers in high priority areas across Queensland, as well as $55.1 million over four years for 85 counter-terrorism officers and operational specialists, and to establish a Security and Counter-Terrorism Command. This builds on the investment of $32.3 million over four years in the 2017-18 Budget for an additional 30 counter-terrorism officers and 20 police officers for priority areas, bringing total additional frontline police and operational specialists to 535.
- $10.6 million to continue construction of the $46.7 million Counter-Terrorism and Community Safety Training Centre at Wacol.
- $55 million to replace, upgrade or refurbish police facilities as well as $29.8 million to replace or upgrade urban and rural fire and emergency and state emergency services facilities, across Queensland.
- $30 million for new and replacement police service vehicles and $44.3 million for replacement and new urban and rural fire appliances.
- $15 million over 10 years to enable the State Emergency Service on-boarding to the Government Wireless Network in South East Queensland, to support volunteers and local government, and enhance an integrated emergency response.
- $8.1 million over four years for the expansion of the Townsville Specialist Domestic and Family Violence Court (including circuit courts in Mount Isa and Palm Island) to include criminal domestic and family violence matters.
- $40.7 million over four years for youth justice support measures.
- Increased funding for a range of initiatives to support the criminal justice system, including $7.4 million over four years for additional frontline investigators to combat major crime and corruption.
Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef is not only one of the natural wonders of the world, but one of the major reasons interstate and international visitors come to Queensland.
To support the reef and manage the impacts of climate change, the Palaszczuk Government is investing $330 million over five years to protect our national treasure. Initiatives in the 2018-19 Budget include:
- $26 million over four years for the Great Barrier Reef Joint Field Management Program. This increase in investment will facilitate practical on-ground activities to protect and maintain marine and island ecosystems in the Great Barrier Reef.
- $25 million over three years to establish a Reef Resort Rejuvenation Fund to deliver infrastructure for Great Barrier Reef islands.
- $13.8 million over four years to support the cane, grazing and banana industries in Great Barrier Reef catchments to improve water quality.
- $5.6 million increased funding over four years to enhance and strengthen delivery of the Queensland Climate Change Response. Funding will enable continued development and implementation of the Government Adaptation Action Plan.
- $4 million increased funding over two years to establish a scientific program to support an enhanced Statewide Landcover and Trees Study to identify and report on the condition and extent of regrowth vegetation and inform habitat conservation.
- From 1 July 2018, single use plastic bags will be banned in Queensland, potentially removing an estimated 16 million bags per annum ending up in the environment. The Palaszczuk Government will also continue to work with industry and community groups on the commencement of the Container Refund Scheme due to start on 1 November 2018.
- Through the $2 billion Affordable Energy Plan to assist Queenslanders pay their energy bills, more than 50,000 households have taken advantage of the energy efficient appliance program.
- The Government is providing increased funding of $5 million for Waste to Energy projects which turn urban waste into renewable energy and bioproducts.
The 2018-19 Budget continues to support the renewable energy industry to improve energy security, environmental outcomes and support Queensland jobs. The Palaszczuk Government’s 50 per cent renewable energy generation target by 2030 has boosted the level of renewable energy investment, bringing significant projects to regions across Queensland. There is a pipeline of over $20 billion in renewable energy projects – with projects worth almost $4.2 billion underway or financially committed.
This Budget includes $50 million in 2018-19 as a capital grant to support the development of concentrated solar thermal with storage projects to provide clean baseload power.
There is also additional funding over three years for solar and energy efficiency measures through the $97 million Advancing Clean Energy Schools program, including $47 million in 2018-19.
Delivering good government for the people of Queensland is about being responsive to the needs of our growing and changing community, improving service delivery, and planning for the future.
Being a responsive government has many aspects – it includes taking action to protect and support our most vulnerable Queenslanders and building resilience to respond to future events. Key initiatives in this Budget include:
- $371 million for a new public transport ticketing system across the state over the next four years. The system will add new customer facing functionality including payment by contactless debit and credit cards, mobile phones and wearable technology in addition to go card and paper tickets.
- $38 million over four years to establish the Disaster Resilience Fund to assist local governments, state agencies and non-government organisations to deliver mitigation and resilience projects.
- $2.5 million over four years to support the operation and administration of a Human Rights Act for Queensland, a significant step towards individual dignity and equal opportunity for all Queenslanders.
- $17 million increased funding over two years from 2017-18 for the Coal Mine Workers’ Health Scheme to take necessary action to ensure the regulatory framework for safety and health in the resources sector is contemporary and effective.
- $8.8 million increased funding in 2018 -19, bringing the total funding to $16.9 million, to continue digital technology and service delivery measures to improve customer services. The Palaszczuk Government recognises that a key element of being a responsive government is ensuring services are easy to use in the most effective and efficient way possible.
- $14.1 million over four years to enhance the integrity and sustainability of the local government system by establishing an independent body to consider councillor conduct complaints and improve governance practices.
Child safety and family services
A total of $1.3 billion has been allocated in 2018-19 for child and family services, including:
- Investing in family support, intervention and wellbeing services delivered by non-government organisations to support effective care and transition for children and young people at risk of abuse.
- Supporting an additional 292 child safety frontline staff, commencing from 2017-18, to ensure the child protection system can respond quickly and effectively to emerging needs.
National Redress Scheme
The Palaszczuk Government has provisioned approximately $500 million for redress payments to survivors of institutional child sexual abuse and to facilitate their access to counselling and psychological support as part of Queensland’s participation in the National Redress Scheme. The scheme will also provide eligible applicants with the option to receive a direct personal response from the institution responsible for providing the redress.
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
Up to $1.543 billion for Queensland’s third year of transition to the NDIS. Far North Queensland, Maryborough, Brisbane, Logan, Redlands and the Gold Coast will commence transition from 1 July 2018, ahead of Sunshine Coast, Caboolture and Strathpine from 1 January 2019.
Supporting our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
As part of its Closing the Gap commitment, the Palaszczuk Government continues to support Queensland’s Indigenous population with significant funding allocated in the 2018-19 Budget, including:
- $239 million to continue to deliver improved housing options for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including through the Remote Home Ownership Program. This includes expanding and improving social rental housing, and activities to support private home ownership in discrete Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
- $12 million over two years to upgrade the Torres Shire Council’s drinking water treatment infrastructure.
- $5 million over two years to remove waste metal build-up including vehicle stockpiles from communities located in the Torres Strait Island Regional Council, Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council and Torres Shire Council areas.
The 2018-19 Budget provides $5.6 billion in concessions for electricity, water, transport, education and housing to reduce the cost of living, including:
- Over $1.1 billion for a range of energy rebates and concessions including a $100 million Electricity Asset Ownership Dividend which will be provided to Queensland households and $212 million for a range of energy rebates and concessions dedicated to supporting eligible seniors, pensioners, veterans and low-income families.
- The Palaszczuk Government has also extended the half-price public transport concession to include the 19,000 Department of Veterans’ Affairs white card holders under 64.
Queensland is like no other place on earth. Each year more than 24 million domestic and international visitors come to explore, photograph, film and enjoy our natural and man-made treasures and enjoy the artistic and cultural highlights Queensland has on offer.
Commonwealth Games Legacy
In April 2018, more than a billion people around the world had their sights on the action as part of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the biggest event staged in Queensland’s history.
Griffith University modelling predicts, after taking into account the Government’s $1.5 billion investment, the Games will contribute $2 billion to Gross State Product for Queensland. In addition, the games attracted additional Government and private sector investments valued at approximately $2.6 billion leaving a legacy of upgraded transport, sporting and community facilities.
Supporting the Arts
The 2018-19 Budget continues the Palaszczuk Government’s support of our artists’ endeavours to help them shine for all to see. A highlight is the announcement in this Budget of $125 million for a new $150 million state-of-the-art theatre to be built at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in Brisbane.
To continue the Production Attraction Strategy, a further $20 million has been allocated over two years from 2017-18 to grow the pipeline of large-scale film and high-end television productions in Queensland. This includes $200,000 to develop a Far North Queensland screen production strategic plan.
The Budget also includes:
- $14 million over two years towards refurbishment of the Thomas Dixon Centre to provide enhanced performance facilities for Queensland Ballet.
- $8 million over two years to the Rockhampton Regional Council for the construction of the new Rockhampton Art Gallery, subject to the confirmation of a $10 million contribution from the Australian Government, bringing the Palaszczuk Government’s total investment to $10 million.
- $8 million over four years to support the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in extending its programming reach across the state, investing further in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Performing Arts and developing a musical theatre incubator.
Tourism is a $25 billion industry for Queensland and the 2018-19 Budget includes a range of support to help ensure the state stays on the radar for our interstate and international visitors. This includes:
- $94.6 million over five years to progress programs under the Growing Tourism, Growing Tourism Jobs initiative including:
- $48.6 million for the Attracting Tourism Fund to provide incentives to attract new international airline routes and cruise ships to Queensland.
- $36 million Regional Tourism Infrastructure and Experience Development Program for projects such as the Wangetti Trail in the state’s Far North and $10 million for an Outback Tourism Infrastructure Fund.
- $2.2 million to expand the Australian Workers Heritage Centre at Barcaldine.
- Continued funding for Tourism and Events Queensland to attract more visitors through marketing, events and experience development.
- $26.2 million over four years from 2017-18 to secure major events as part of the Advancing Tourism program.
The 2018-19 Budget supports the delivery of the Palaszczuk Government’s election commitments and includes measures to build the infrastructure our community needs and expects, support the delivery of services for all Queenslanders and develop the skills people need in a changing economy. The key initiatives outlined in the 2018-19 Budget align with the Palaszczuk Government’s plan to advance Queensland now and into the future.
These key initiatives align with the Palaszczuk Government’s clear economic plan to drive economic growth, create more jobs and improve prosperity by:
- Increasing the economic opportunities available to Queenslanders.
- Enhancing the capacity of Queenslanders to access and capitalise on these opportunities.
- Ensuring all Queenslanders share in the prosperity and improved quality of life these opportunities deliver.
Queensland economic growth
Queensland’s economic growth is forecast to accelerate, from 2.5% in 2016-17 to 3% by 2018-19.
Queensland business investment
Following the wind down of the LNG construction boom, business investment in Queensland is rebounding. Supported by a range of renewable energy projects, business investment will be a key driver of economic growth.
Queensland employment growth
Employment growth in Queensland is forecast to strengthen to 2¾% over the year to June quarter 2018. This is the strongest growth in more than a decade.
Well over half of the 2018-19 Budget is allocated to health and education, demonstrating the Palaszczuk Government’s focus on delivering frontline services to all Queenslanders.
Almost half of Queensland’s revenue is reliant on Commonwealth grants, reinforcing the importance of Queensland receiving a fair share of GST revenue and funding for capital projects that aligns with the timing of project expenditure. It is also critical that the Australian Government takes a collaborative approach in providing ongoing funding for key community services, such as health, education, housing and skills.
In 2017-18, the level of Queensland Government debt is the lowest it has been since 2011-12.
We are responsibly managing debt to support Queensland’s $45.8 billion infrastructure investment program. General Government borrowings in the last year of the forward estimates (2021-22) are expected to be lower than in 2014-15.
The improvement in Queensland’s debt position is even more substantial when considered in the context of growth in the Queensland economy and the state’s revenue base over this period.
General Government debt to revenue ratio