Budget backs good jobs, better services and great Queensland lifestyle

JOINT STATEMENT

A record $23.6 billion investment in health is the centrepiece of a 2022-23 Queensland Budget focused on delivering good jobs and better services for Queenslanders while protecting the Sunshine State’s enviable lifestyle.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the budget, like the government, continues to put the health of Queenslanders first.

“Our strong pandemic health and economic response is now delivering major returns for Queenslanders,” the Premier said.

“With this year’s budget we’re making record investments in health, education, jobs, renewables, and community services like police and fire and emergency.

“This includes $23.6 billion for healthcare this financial year, with an increase of $1.16 billion in health’s operating budget which will help us meet growing demands on the system.

“That will see us create thousands of new jobs for frontline staff, with a commitment to hire an additional 9450 health workers over this four-year term of government.

“This budget will also invest in new schools, improved roads and more employment opportunities as we enter our golden decade on track towards the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” she said.

“The results are obvious: by prioritising the health of Queenslanders, our state is now firmly positioned on a path towards long-term prosperity and success.”

The Palaszczuk Government’s record health investment in 2022-23 will fund:

  • Approximately 2200 additional overnight beds to expand health system capacity
  • New hospitals in Bundaberg, Toowoomba and Coomera
  • A new Queensland Cancer Centre
  • Expansions to hospitals in Cairns, Townsville, Robina, Mackay, Redcliffe, Ipswich and Hervey Bay
  • Expansions at Princess Alexandra, QEII and The Prince Charles hospitals
  • A further expansion of Logan Hospital

Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick said Queensland’s pandemic response continues to drive the nation’s economic recovery.

“Whether fighting COVID-19 or floods, Queenslanders have shown incredible resilience,” Mr Dick said.

“That spirit and strength is why we’ve had the largest employment increase in the entire country, with 206,000 more Queenslanders in jobs than there were before the pandemic.

“Last month alone there were 46,600 jobs created in Queensland, which is more than 1500 jobs created every day, and three-quarters of all jobs created in Australia during May.

“With this budget we’re protecting those jobs and working to create new ones, while investing in the services Queenslanders need and the way of life we all love.

“Our record health budget will provide access to the best possible healthcare, no matter where you live,” he said.

“Over seven years we’ll invest $943.5 million in the Building Rural and Remote Healthcare program to replace ageing health infrastructure and staff accommodation in rural and remote Queensland

“We’re making sure the Royal Flying Doctor Service is adequately resourced, with budget funding of $334 million for a new 10 year-contract, while $60.2 million will go towards a new Queensland Regional Aeromedical Hub.

“Meanwhile, our Better Care Together plan for mental health, alcohol and other drugs services will inject $1.64 billion into the system across the next five years, ensuring better outcomes for Queenslanders and their families.”

Mr Dick said Queensland’s four-year, $59.1 billion infrastructure commitment gives industry greater certainty about the delivery of major projects in the state.

“Our capital program in 2022-23 will be $15.51 billion and will directly support 48,000 jobs,” he said.

“Over 63 per cent of that outlay will be spent outside the greater Brisbane region, a total investment of around $9.8 billion that will support 31,100 jobs.

“$19.6 billion will be invested in education and training statewide in 2022-23, demonstrating our commitment to providing career pathways for all Queenslanders while addressing labour shortages in our economy.

“And we’ve lifted our investment in the Building Future Schools program to $3 billion, including $390 million to build five more new schools where they’re needed most, in Caboolture West, Caloundra South, Ripley, Flagstone and Bahrs Scrub.

“The budget also features $742 million for additional and renewed infrastructure in our existing state schools, as well as $20 million to upgrade school playgrounds and tuckshops,” he said.

“A further $3.6 million will go towards the planning and design of 18 new school halls and performing arts centres.”

Mr Dick said the government was continuing to take significant action to help Queenslanders facing housing challenges.

“The 2022-23 State Budget will allocate $200 million to build the essential infrastructure needed to unlock housing supply, funding the delivery of water and sewer infrastructure to create more residential lots in new communities,” he said.

“This investment supports the ongoing delivery of our $1.9 billion Queensland Housing and Homelessness Action Plan 2021-2025 announced last year, which will result in the construction of 7400 new dwellings across our state.

“There’s more than $1.7 billion in 2022-23 to continue recovery, reconstruction and resilience programs, in partnership with the Australian Government, following this year’s unrelenting disaster season.

“We remain focused on tackling cost-of-living pressures too, with $6.8 billion available for a range of health, energy, water, transport and housing concessions, a 10 per cent funding increase that includes $385 million for this year’s $175 cost of living rebate.”

Other key investments in the 2022-23 Queensland Budget include:

  • $262.5 million to support the growth, better management and sustainability of the state’s protected areas
  • $363 million to respond to the recommendations of the Queensland Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce in Hear her voice – Report One
  • $29.7 billion for road and transport infrastructure
  • $324 million to accelerate climate action and resource recovery initiatives
  • More than $300 million for the Toowoomba to Warwick pipeline and other water infrastructure
  • $608 million for Queensland agriculture, biosecurity, fisheries and forestry
  • $150 million for the 10-year Queensland Trade Strategy
  • The $100 million, four-year Go for Gold Fund for new and upgraded sports infrastructure for schools across the state
  • $50 million to continue manufacturing grants programs across the state

Mr Dick said Queensland’s economic growth is expected to strengthen to three per cent in 2021-22, followed by ongoing solid growth across the forward estimates.

“The surplus for 2021-22 is expected to be $1.91 billion, an improvement of $5.4 billion compared to the $3.48 billion deficit forecast this time last year,” he said.

“Net debt at 30 June 2022 is forecast to be $13.36 billion lower than we expected for this current financial year.

“General Government Sector Revenue in 2021-22 has been revised upwards by $9.07 billion compared with last year’s budget estimates, primarily reflecting the stronger than expected conditions in the housing and labour markets, and increased royalties due to the surge in coal and oil prices.

“What these figures and others show is Queensland is on the right track, and that gives us the confidence to make these substantial investments in our future.”

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