Queensland infrastructure key to national economy
Queensland can’t contribute to the federal economy unless the Gillard government invests in the state, Treasurer Tim Nicholls says.
QUEENSLAND can’t contribute to the federal economy unless the Gillard government invests in the state, Treasurer Tim Nicholls says.
Mr Nicholls on Friday outlined Queensland’s case for receiving a greater slice of the 2012/13 federal budget pie, which will be delivered on Tuesday.
At the top of his wishlist is more infrastructure funding.
He says road, rail and port infrastructure are key to growing the state’s resource and agriculture sectors.
“There is a very clear connection between infrastructure investment in Queensland and the wellbeing of the Australian and Queensland economies,” Mr Nicholls told AAP.
The newly elected Newman government is relying on federal funding to deliver on several of its election commitments, such as upgrading the Bruce Highway.
“Without the infrastructure being put in place the coal doesn’t get exported and if the coal doesn’t get exported the mineral resources rent tax doesn’t get paid,” Mr Nicholls said.
He wants resource states like Queensland and Western Australia to receive a greater portion of funds when the tax starts on July 1.
He said the Newman government’s smart planning would be a “shock absorber” against an expected drop in GST revenue of $1.8 billion over the forward estimates.
The state government had set aside an expected GST windfall of $400 million that had been forecast, intending to “prudently” use it to pay down some of the state’s $62 billion debt.
“But now we’ll still have to find further savings in order to accommodate the drop in GST,” Mr Nicholls said.
He’s concerned changes to parenting payments and superannuation, the scrapping of the diesel fuel rebate and the introduction of a national disability insurance scheme will impede the Queensland government’s ability to reduce the cost of living for families. - AAP