Queensland State Budget solid but not transformative

Statement from Ai Group Queensland Head Shane Rodgers

The Australian Industry Group has described today’s Queensland State Budget as sound but falling short of being transformative.

“We welcome the significant lift in infrastructure spending and the renewed commitment to some targeted business building and skills development programs,” Australian Industry Group Queensland Head Shane Rodgers said.

“However, there is little to address the rising cost and complexity of doing business in Queensland and even the higher level of capital spending will not be enough to address the State’s chronic infrastructure needs.

“We will continue to play catchup on infrastructure until consideration is given to new and more creative ways to fund major initiatives and activate private investment in state-building projects.

“The Budget has also confirmed our fear that a large proportion of the revenue from the new waste levy on business will be channelled to general government spending rather than improved waste management. In that respect, it is effectively a new tax on business in the State rather than an environmental initiative.

“The continuing funding of the Advance Queensland program and the new Artificial Intelligence Hub, are genuine efforts by the State Government to help re-engineer the State economy for the future.

“However, real transformation requires an economic ecosystem that encourages established businesses to constantly innovate and keep investing in the State.

“In general, the Budget feels like a solid collection of free-standing projects rather than clear and comprehensive vision for the type of State we want to be and the big picture thinking needed to ignite a new wave of confidence and investment.

“The State desperately needs a more robust, creative and big-thinking transport, urban development and globalisation plan that genuinely addresses the massive population growth expected over the next 15 years, and a rapidly-changing international economy.

“Ai Group particularly welcomes the $1 million fund to promote apprenticeships and the continuation of the Payroll Tax rebate for businesses employing apprentices and trainees. Ai Group has long argued that greater attention should be given to the promotion of apprenticeships and traineeships and the policies announced today are an important step in that direction,” Mr Rodgers said.

/Public Release.