Queensland needs a future-focussed “new world” State Budget

A peak industry group has called on the Queensland Government to deliver a budget that gives companies the opportunity to flourish and create jobs for the “new world”.

Australian Industry Group Queensland Head Shane Rodgers said the Government needed to prepare the State for shifting economic sands, more high-tech industries and better connectivity.

“We need to start gearing for workplaces where robots better intermingle with humans, build transport corridors that can accommodate driverless vehicles and provide adequate charging stations for electric cars.

“We cannot afford to just target infrastructure spending at incremental improvements to our current road and transport networks. We need to be starting to invest in new ways of getting people around and connecting regions.

“Primarily, Queensland industry is looking for a budget that provides long-term certainty for investment and strategic investment to underscore economic growth,” Mr Rodgers said.

Ai Group’s State Budget submission also calls for:

  • A thorough, independent study of the economic impact of Queensland being on a different time zone to the southern capitals during summer months.
  • Full State Government engagement in a cost-benefit analysis of a Brisbane Olympic Games bid or a bolder approach to hosting major Asia-Pacific events in Queensland.
  • A review of legislation governing human and robot interaction to ensure Queensland can take advantage of advanced technology.
  • A revolutionary approach to skills and training that meets the current needs of industry as well as a rapidly-evolving world of artificial intelligence, robotics and virtual reality.
  • A renewed focus on all aspects of digital literacy in the education and training system.
  • A better system of fast-tracking market-led infrastructure proposals and an open-minded approach to the sale of public assets that could operate more effectively in private hands.
  • A commitment to the SEQ Cities Deal, with the potential to use it as a model for other regions around the State.
  • A real commitment to work with industry on the circular economy and improve waste management without prohibitive increases in charges.
  • A realistic approach to energy transition based on a workable change over several decades.

“Many Queensland businesses continue to face tough and testing conditions and are concerned about a range of pressures which are hindering their ability to compete,” Mr Rodgers said.

“Ai Group urges the Queensland Government to concentrate on reducing business costs and driving growth through innovation, exports and regional development.”

The full Ai Group pre-budget submission is available here.

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