Palaszczuk Government continues productivity and economic reform agenda

Treasurer, Minister for Infrastructure and Planning The Honourable Cameron Dick

Treasurer Cameron Dick has announced the next step towards making taxpayers’ dollars work harder for Queenslanders is the consolidation of some Queensland Government agencies.

“As part of the implementation our Savings and Debt Plan, we’ve identified a number of opportunities to undertake structural reform in Queensland Government statutory bodies and agencies, where their functions can be integrated within existing government departments,” the Treasurer said.

Public Safety Business Agency (PSBA)

Minister for Police and Corrective Services Mark Ryan said that, in a move that will correct another mistake of the previous LNP Government, critical public safety resources will be shifted back to the frontline, where they belong.

“This significant restructure will see the functions of the Public Safety Business Agency (PSBA) transferred back to the Queensland Police Service and the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services,” Minister Ryan said.

“The PSBA was flawed since its establishment as a stand-alone agency by the previous LNP Government to act as a vehicle for the future privatisation and outsourcing of various critical government functions.

“Following several reviews, this government has been progressively transferring the functions of the PSBA back to the relevant public safety agencies, and now it is time to finish the job and return the remaining staff and functions back to their home agencies.”

“It’s largely due to the resilience and efforts of those hard working PSBA staff members that the PSBA has managed to function as well as it could, and for that, we owe them a debt of gratitude.

“That’s why we want them returned to their rightful agencies.”

Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Craig Crawford said every PSBA employee will be transferred back to the front-line public safety agency that their work supports.

“Our changes will ensure better use of government resources to support the good work of our emergency services,” Mr Crawford said.

“The fact that the PSBA model has managed to function as well as it has is purely due to the professionalism of dedicated staff.

“The transition will progress in full consultation with key stakeholders and is expected to be finalised by the end of June 2021.”

Queensland Productivity Commission (QPC)

The Queensland Productivity Commission will be refocussed to the immediate economic challenges facing Queensland in a post-COVID world, developing policies to promote economic recovery.

Given productivity growth is central to economic recovery and to improving living standards, the Queensland Productivity Commissioner will be integrated into Queensland Treasury to establish the Office of Productivity and Red Tape Reduction as part of Queensland Treasury, better driving the government’s productivity agenda.

“This is in line with the approach taken by New South Wales and the national productivity reform agenda, which is being driven by the National Cabinet and the Council on Federal Financial Relations,” the Treasurer said.

“The Office of Productivity and Red Tape Reduction will continue to be Government’s primary regulatory review provider, but consideration will be given to the Queensland Competition Authority managing matters relating to competitive neutrality.

“This structure will enable greater integration of the Government’s economic strategy and enhance Treasury’s economic policy capability.

Building Queensland (BQ)

To ensure the Government utilises its resources efficiently to reinforce and strengthen our infrastructure investment and planning capability, Building Queensland will be integrated into Queensland Treasury.

“Combining the skills of Building Queensland and the existing capabilities within Treasury, including the Infrastructure and Economic Resilience Division, will streamline processes, reduce administrative overheads and provide a more coordinated infrastructure advisory and assurance function within Government,” the Treasurer said.

“In line with Government policy, there will be no forced redundancies at these agencies, but as we work through, some roles may change.”

Debt Recovery and Compliance Changes Program

The Treasurer also announced that a Debt Recovery and Compliance program will be undertaken by the Office of State Revenue. This program will:

  • increase proactive debt management by the State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER)
  • increase audits and investigations for taxation and royalties.

“This will involve increasing the resources of the Office of State Revenue, but I make no apologies for acting to recover money from those who owe it to the people of Queensland,” the Treasurer said.

These measures are designed to target 56,000 non-compliant SPER debtors each year.

They will also improve investigation and auditing of compliance.

For an investment of $74.95 million, Treasury estimates these activities will increase revenue and collections by $488.15 million over three and a half years.

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