QUEENSLAND Treasurer Cameron Dick says the recent state budget builds on the government’s economic recovery plan by investing in the frontline, the future and communities across the state.
To explain the budget and some of the implications for the Sunshine Coast, Mr Dick came to Caloundra on Thursday, June 24 as a guest for the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce’s business lunch at the Caloundra Events Centre.
The opportunity was the idea of Member for Caloundra Jason Hunt, who, working with the Chamber of Commerce, thought the region had earned a visit from the Treasurer after surviving the economic impacts of COVID-19 in the past 18 months.
Mr Dick said he had been buoyed by the results of the Queensland economy over the past year, as compared to the rest of Australia, and credited good government planning for the positive position the state finds itself in.
“Our economic recovery plan has seen Queensland bounce back faster than we could have possibly believed a year ago,” Mr Dick told the crowd.
“Queensland is the first state to recover all the jobs lost due to the COVID downturn.
“In fact, jobs have grown by over 80,000 more than before, and internet job advertisements are 99.5% higher than they were pre-COVID.
“Our success in managing the health challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic means that the state’s $360 billion economy has begun to recover sooner and is stronger than the rest of Australia,”
Mr Dick said.
At a glance, the state budget includes:
• A $3.34 billion Queensland jobs fund, including a new $2 billion Queensland renewable energy and hydrogen jobs fund, to stimulate job creation and industry development
• A record $22.2 billion health investment, plus a $2 billion hospital building fund to help meet growth pressures across the health system
• $14.688 billion for infrastructure in 2021-22, with 61.2% of that supporting 29,800 jobs in regions outside greater Brisbane
• $16.8 billion to improve education outcomes for students and teachers
• A $1.9 billion commitment over four years towards social housing and establishment of a $1 billion housing investment fund to help boost supply
At a local level, the Sunshine Coast is not left out with $730 million earmarked for local infrastructure spending; $1.4 billion for health; $140.5 million for school improvements and upgrades; $38.5 million to improve social housing; and 20 million earmarked for building the Sunshine Coast Stadium.
For our hinterland region, funding has been allocated towards:
• Helping fund the creation of the Australia Zoo campground ($4.2 million)
• Continuing the construction of the new fire and emergency services complex at Maleny ($1.8 million)
• Upgrading visitor facilities at Booloumba Creek, Conondale National Park ($900,000)
• Beerburrum to Nambour rail upgrade stage 1 ($29.4 million from a total of $160 million)
• Upgrading Glenview State School administration building ($5 million)
• Palmview State Special School ($19.5 million)
• Palmview State Primary School ($2.4 million)
• Supporting Aussie World to install a new roller coaster ride, as part of the growing tourism infrastructure program ($464,795)
• Upgrades to the industrial design and technology building at Beerwah State High School ($333,000)
• Multi-sports field refurbishment at Landsborough State School ($506,000)
To read more about the Queensland budget, go to www.budget.qld.gov.au
Photo: Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick and Jason Hunt, MP for Caloundra