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2016-17 Queensland Budget
14 June 2016
 
OVERVIEW

Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt handed down the 2016-17 Queensland Budget this afternoon, the second budget of the Palaszczuk Government. In delivering his speech, the Treasurer said today’s budget was about three key priorities: jobs creating innovation; investment; and infrastructure.
 
The Budget predicts an operating surplus of $867 million for 2016-17, with a $1.2 billion surplus in 2017-18, which will reduce to $321 million in 2018-19.
 
Key announcements in today’s budget include:
  • An increase of the first home owners grant from $15,000 to $20,000 for one year on properties valued at less than $750,000
  • An additional $225 million to be spent on the Government’s Advance Queensland Innovation fund – this will include $40 million to attract businesses to relocate to Queensland using attraction incentives such as payroll tax rebates and transfer duty concessions, and targeting priority industries such as biofutures, advanced manufacturing, defence and aerospace, mining equipment, technology and services (METS), biomedical and life sciences
  • $100 million in extra funding for a new two-year Back to Work Regional Employment Package.
The Treasurer also announced that Cross River Rail remains the Queensland Government’s number one infrastructure priority, with the allocation of $500 million towards the project.

KEY PARAMETERS
  • Estimated actual employment growth for 2015-16 of 1.75%, with employment growth expected to continue at similar rates over 2016-17 and 2017-18
  • Unemployment rate of just over 6% expected to continue for 2016-17, with the jobless rate to reduce to 5.75 % by 2019-20
  • Current growth rate of 3.5%, predicted to improve to 4% in the next financial year
  • Whole-of-government debt of $73.5 billion, including government-owned corporations
  • The Budget has suffered a $4.7 billion revenue write-down over the forward estimates
  • Total government spending of $53 billion
MAJOR SAVINGS
  • A special stamp duty rate of 3% for foreign buyers of residential property
  • A new fiscal principle that growth in public service employee numbers does not exceed population growth
MAJOR EXPENDITURE

Department of Transport and Main Roads

 
Key road and transport initiatives in the 2016-17 State Budget total $20 billion over four years under the Queensland Transport and Road Investment Program, including:
  • $4.6 billion in 2016-17 for the Queensland Transport and Road Investment Program
  • $634 million over eight years for a new rail signalling system, the European Train Control System (ETCS), to increase rail passenger capacity
  • $90 million over three years for the Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme to upgrade and build local infrastructure in regional communities
  • $89 million for road safety programs through the Camera Detected Offence Program
  • $76.9 million to upgrade the Gregory Development Road and Cape River Bridge in Northern Queensland
  • $50 million to progress Cross River Rail planning and environmental approvals as well establishi the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority
  • $399.9 million for the Toowoomba second range crossing, and $250 million on widening the Gateway Motorway North to six lanes between Nudgee and Bracken Ridge, as part of the Government’s $10.7 billion capital works program for public transport and roads
  • $210 million public transport revenue foregone to account for:
    • New zone and fare structures in south-east Queensland
    • Replacing the “nine and free” scheme with a 50% discount after eight trips.
Department Of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning
 
The 2016-17 State Budget includes an additional $1.5 billion for infrastructure expenditure as part of the State Infrastructure Fund, bringing its value to $2 million. Infrastructure initiatives include:
  • $300 million for the Priority Economic Works and Productivity Program targeting productivity and capacity improving infrastructure
  • $180 million over four years for the Significant Regional Infrastructure Projects Program to fast track significant economic and social infrastructure projects
  • $96.5 million over five years to improve transportation of livestock, mining equipment and general freight
  • $77.9 million Rural Assistance and Drought Package, including freight subsidies and emergency water infrastructure rebates. 
Queensland Health

Expenditure for the Health portfolio in 2016-17 totals $15.3 billion, including:
  • $12.6 billion for Queensland’s 16 Hospital and Health Services, Mater Health Services and Saint Vincent’s Australia
  • $230 million for the Advancing Queensland’s Health Infrastructure Program
  • $35 million as part of Advance Queensland for Integrated Healthcare Funds to support new ideas and efficiencies
  • $27.5 million for 170 new and replacement ambulance vehicles
  • $25 million as part of Advance Queensland for genomics research at institutions such as University of Queensland, Berghofer QIMR, CSIRO, QUT and Queensland Health. 
Education and Training
 
The Budget has committed $12.9 billion for Education and Training, including:
  • $249.3 million over four years to increase the Base Capital Works Program
  • Four new primary schools in Burdell, Caloundra South, Coomera, Yarrabilba and the Cairns Special School
  • $102 million over for years for Queensland schools to implement findings of the School Administrative and Support Staff review
  • $94.7 million in 2019-20 and ongoing for the Queensland School Maintenance Program
  • $24 million in 2016-17 to establish replacement senior assessment and tertiary entrance arrangements
  • $25.3 million over five years to promote Queensland international education. 
Treasury
 
Key initiatives in the Treasury portfolio include:
  • The Treasury will recoup $10 million from tax avoidance measures, including enforcement measures for organisations claiming “not-for-profit” tax status but which are not entitled to
  • Using $4 billion of the Government’s reported $10 billion surplus located in the public service superannuation fund to fund $2 billion of debt reduction and a further $2 billion on infrastructure projects. 
Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games
 
Key initiatives in the Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games portfolio include:
  • $140 million (including an additional $40 million from the 2016-17 Budget) for a new Townsville Stadium
  • As part of the Advance Queensland program, $33.5 million will be spent over four years to boost Asian tourism numbers through securing additional air routes, marketing and new tourism experiences
  • $49.9 million over two years to restore Tourism and Events Queensland’s funding
  • $12 million over four years for the Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art to bring back the Blockbuster Exhibitions program
  • Establishment of a Queensland Small Business Champion to identify challenges and opportunities for small business, which will be supported by a dedicated Office of Small Business.
Department of Environment and Heritage Protection
 
Key initiatives in the Environment and Heritage Protection portfolio include:
  • $21.7 million as part of the Government’s $100 million overall investment to protect the Great Barrier Reef, including quality, research and industry assistance measures aimed at reducing impacts on the Reef
  • $12.1 million over four years and ongoing funding of $2.6 million a year for koala protection
  • $6.8 million over four years for climate change strategies
  • $10.8 million over four years to begin implementing the recommendations of the Biosecurity Capability Review
  • $7.8 million over four years to support aerial and satellite imagery to strengthen vegetation management.
Queensland Police Service
  • $32 million in new and replacement vehicles
  • $16 million over four years to improve counter terrorism capability.
 FURTHER READING
 
About GRACosway
GRACosway is Australia's leading public affairs and corporate and financial communications counsel. Our integrated suite of services provides public policy, communications, regulatory, issues management, and media relations advice to a range of domestic and international clients across all industry sectors. From offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra, and Perth (through GRA Everingham), GRACosway's clients benefit from the combined experience, expertise, and strategic perspective of our team in addressing complex and commercially sensitive projects. For more information head to gracosway.com.au
 
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