Queensland Treasurer talks exports, infrastructure spending and Adani
Queensland Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad has promised continued investment in education and creation of jobs ahead of the State Budget.
Speaking at a Queensland Media Club luncheon in Brisbane, Ms Trad said Queensland’s unemployment had fallen from a high of 6 per cent, with more than 200 full-time jobs created under the Labor government.
She also highlighted the fact Queensland’s exports were now worth more than those of New South Wales and Victoria combined, and that further growth was expected with the expansion of Brisbane Airport and a second runway opening in 2020.
“In this budget, the Queensland Government faces the choice between staying the course or changing tack,” Ms Trad said.
“To maintain our investment in job-creating infrastructure and front-line services for a growing state, or to withdraw the government’s investment.
“We choose to stay the course.”
Queensland now has the unenviable title of Australia’s most disaster-prone state, with some $15 billion in damage over the past 10 years.
Ms Trad said the Palaszczuk Government would continue to invest in disaster management, regional areas and infrastructure, with $46 billion to be set aside for the latter in the 2021-22 year.
While Ms Trad declined to comment on the topics of new taxes, tax cuts or Queensland’s debt levels, she said she was proud of the $20 billion in resources projects approved during Labor’s time in office.
Naturally, the question of Adani’s planned Carmichael coal project arose but Ms Trad said she did not believe the mine would be make-or-break: for climate change or the Queensland economy or local employment.
“I actually think it’s time to move on.”
From an observer’s standpoint, Ms Trad may be right to some extent on all counts – but the success or failure of the Carmichael mine looks likely to have political implications beyond Central Queensland.
Adani was viewed as a major factor in the Coalition’s Queensland success at last month’s Federal Election and people will again have the opportunity to have their say at next year’s State poll.
Peta Baldwin is Cannings Purple’s State Director in Queensland and an expert in investor relations and the resources industry, who has worked in in-house roles at Mount Isa Mines, Alcoa and most recently AngloGold Ashanti. Contact Peta
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