Queensland Treasurer, Andrew Fraser, has delivered Queensland’s Budget for 2008-09.
Budget priorities include health, congestion management and infrastructure. Education and health together account for 47.3 percent of General Government sector expenses.
General Government revenues are budgeted to be $36.582 billion in 2008-09 and operating expenses are budgeted at $35.772 billion. A net operating surplus of $809 million is forecast for 2008-09.
The state’s net worth is expected to increase to $128.563 billion by 30 June 2009.
Key 2008-09 Budget initiatives include:
- An increase in the first home buyers transfer duty exemption threshold to $500,000 from September 2008;
- Abolition of mortgage duty from 1 July 2008;
- Land tax exemption for aged care facilities;
- Extension of the transfer duty homebuyer concession to assist residents of retirement villages who adopt lease and sub-lease occupancy arrangements.
Over $17 billion in capital spending is estimated for 2008-09. This includes:
- $6.968 billion for transport and roads, including the Airport Link;
- $1.024 billion for health;
- $929.7 million for education, training and the arts;
- $2.551 billion for water;
- $3.108 billion for energy infrastructure.
- $153.7 million is provided for the Department of Infrastructure and Planning’s operating and capital budget in 2008-09, including $25.3 million for urban development.
$6.98 billion for transport and main roads in 2008-09, including:
- $438.7 million to continue work on the Northern and Eastern Busways;
- $537.6 million towards the $1.883 billion Gateway Upgrade Project;
- $298.7 million towards construction of the Darra to Springfield road and rail corridor;
- $697.6 milllion to upgrade infrastructure and rollingstock on the CityTrain network, including additional rollingstock to deliver service enhancements between the Gold Coast, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast;
- $130 million for the Springfield Line;
- $127 million on extending the rail line from Robina to Varsity Lakes;
- 12 new trains and 90 new buses;
- $33.7 million for new cycling facilities across South East Queensland.
Mines and Energy
$144.4 million for mines and energy in 2008-09, including:
- $12 million to assist Queensland business implement energy-efficient technologies;
- $2.3 million to assist households and small business located in isolated and remote areas of the State to undertake energy conservation measures;
- $2.4 million to construct a new drill core facility in Mount Isa;
- $2.6 million in additional capital funds to upgrade computer hardware and software to support interactive and online information for the mining and exploration industry.
Coal Transport Infrastructure Investment Program
- $576.4 million for additional track works on the coal network in Central Queensland, including $14.4 million for the Goonyella to Abbot Point Expansion project;
- $70 million to increase the capacity of Abbot Point Coal Terminal to 25 million tonnes per year;
- $250 million on the Abbot Point X50 Expansion, to increase the capacity to 50 million tonnes per year;
- $45 million to improve the road network in the Bowen Basin region;
- $18.3 million for ongoing works at the RG Tanna Coal Terminal.
Natural Resources and Water
$560.7 million for natural resources and water in 2008-09, including:
- $320 million for Water and Catchment Services, including:
- $41.9 million for land acquisitions for water infrastructure and dams;
- $32.1 million to continue the Home and Garden WaterWise program;
- $240.7 million for Land and Vegetation business, including:
- $17.2 million for regional and natural resource management activities;
- $3.3 million for vegetation management.
$2.2 billion is provided for the $9 billion South East Queensland water grid. This includes:
- $795 million for three advanced water plants and pipelines;
- $531.8 million to commence work in the Traveston Crossing Dam and Wyaralong Dam, subject to approval;
- $448.1 million towards the Tugun desalination plant;
- $217.3 million for a pipeline between Brisbane and the Gold Coast;
- $219.8 million towards the Northern Pipeline Interconnector.
- $31.5 million for the Tank Street Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge;
- $45.5 million Boggo Road Precinct (Urban Village) Redevelopment;
- $20.2 million for Stage 2 of the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre;
- $1.75 million for the Government Energy Management Strategy, to research and develop new energy savings initiatives;
- $2.5 million for Water Smart Buildings water conservation program;
- $33.3 million for an ICT consolidation program, focusing on consolidating agencies’ data centres, networks and infrastructure;
- $3.5 million to develop whole-of-government, sector-wide procurement strategies for common use supplies and services.
$8.352 billion is allocated for health in 2008-09. This includes:
- $114.67 new recurrent funding;
- $226.2 million in additional capital funding;
- $104.7 million ($1.272 billion over four years) will support projects to be delivered under the South East Queensland Infrastructure Plan and Program;
- $230 million for the Gold Coast University Hospital, the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Queensland Children’s Hospital;
- $37.5 million towards the new redevelopments of Cairns Hospital, Mackay Hospital and Mt Isa Hospital;
- $7.1 million towards the Medical Aids Subsidy Scheme, as part of $54.9 million to be allocated over four years;
- $3.1 million for the expansion of the nursing workforce, as part of a commitment of $35.8 million over four years;
- Over $10 million on combating chronic disease;
- $215.13 million to fund the More Beds for Hospitals program;
- $50 million to deliver more elective surgery;
- $82.63 over four years for mental health reform;
- $9.7 million to purchase new mobile dental clinics.
Education, Training and the Arts
$7.03 billion in recurrent funding and $833.8 million capital funding is committed to the education, training and the arts in 2008-09. This includes:
- $89.6 million to construct four new schools;
- $150 million to deliver school renewal and regeneration projects as part of the $850 million over five years for the State Schools of Tomorrow initiative;
- $23 million to complete covered walkways of prep facilities at state schools in South East Queensland;
- $125.1 million for school in school maintenance;
- $100 million in Smart Classrooms initiatives to improve access to learning materials electronically;
- $20 million for the second year of the four year $70 million Computers for Teachers program;
- $24.4 million over two years in additional funding for the pre-Prep early learning program in Indigenous communities;
- $54.7 million for modern training facilities for SkillsTech Australia;
- $47 million for professional development of school and TAFE staff;
- $10 million towards the $35.6 million program providing literacy support for upper primary students;
- $186.5 million to develop the skills of apprentices and trainees;
- $14.9 million for 3,500 additional training places at Certificate IV or higher;
- $17.1 milllion to create 4,250 additional trade training places;
- $118.4 million for the state’s leading cultural institutions.
$759 million for housing assistance in 2008-09, including:
- $125 million from the Queensland Future Growth Fund into social housing to increase assistance to low-income households experiencing severe housing stress;
- $902 million for the Housing Improvement Program, working in partnership between Indigenous Councils;
- $287 million to increase the supply of department managed, social housing accommodation, including 392 new dwellings;
- $9.4 million to install 15,700 water efficient devices in social housing dwellings;
- $13.1 million to expand the supply of Crisis Accommodation housing.
The Environment Protection Authority anticipates spending of over $400 million in 2008-09. This includes:
- Up to $30 million for new initiatives under the Climate Change Fund, including the $20 million ClimateSmart Homes Services and $7.2 million over five years for the ClimateSmart Homes Rebate program;
- $300 million from the Queensland Future Growth Fund to support the development of clean coal technologies over ten years.
Primary Industries and Fisheries
Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries has budgeted for total expenses of $342.4 million in 2008-09, including a Queensland Government investment of $248.3 million. This includes:
- $$205.3 million for industry development;
- $90.3 million for biosecurity;
- $46.7 million for fisheries programs;
- $25 million capital expenditure;
- $5.6 million for the establishment of establishment of log plantations;
- Forestry Plantation Queensland will undertake a capital expenditure program of $16 million in 2008-09;
- Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority has a budget of $89.6 million for 2008-09.
Community and Disability Services
The Department of Communities has allocated $690.9 million in recurrent expenditure in 2008-09, including;
- $32 million over four years to establish Early Years Centres;
- $11.4 million capital funding for land and planning for additional youth detention centre capacity;
- $5.6 million in recurrent funding over four years for the Safe Havens Project;
- $113.3 million for capital expenditure.
Disability Services Queensland received an operational budget of $1.235 billion in 2008-09, comprising:
- $825.1 million for disability services;
- $386.3 million for home and community care; and
- $23.1 million for mental health services;
- $10 million to support people with a disability and their families respond to crisis situations.
$586.6 million for the Department of Child Safety in 2008-09, including:
- $14.6 million over four years to set up child protection safe houses in Cape York peninsula, the Torres Strait and Mornington Island;
- $26.4 million over four years for 12 group homes to provide safe places for abused young people;
- $14 million over four years to boost family intervention services;
- $29.8 million over four years for extra child protection workers;
- $70.7 million to foster and kinship carers;
- $183 million to non-government organisations for a range of services to protect children.
Justice and Attorney-General
- $236 million to progress the construction of a new Supreme Court and District Court complex in Brisbane;
- $1.7 million funding for the Murri Court;
- $3.6 million for Community Justice Groups;
- $1.6 million allocated to the Drug Court programs.
Police and Corrective Services
$1.571 billion for Police including:
- $18.3 million for 760 police;
- $84.8 million for information technology, including implementing QPRIME, a single, integrated operational policing system for managing and recording crime incidents state-wide;
- $22.2 million to improve the safety of Queensland roads, including $15.3 million for 70,080 hours of mobile speed camera operations;
- $142 million for the construction of new and replacement of police stations, and continued upgrade and refurbishments.
$511.2 million for Corrective Services including:
- $196.7 million to start construction of the south-east Queensland correctional precinct in the Lockyer Valley;
- $118.3 million for the expansion and redevelopment of Lotus Glen Correctional Centre;
- $37.3 million for the refurbishment and expansion of Townsville Correctional Centre;
- $9 million to continue the rolling program of state0of-the-art upgrades of perimeter security systems.
$812 million in subsidies will be provided to councils. This includes:
- $132 million to support the construction and augmentation of water and sewerage infrastructure;
- $54 million to create legacies that celebrate QLD’s 150th anniversary;
- $25.2 million over five years towards water fluoridation;
- $47 million to provide environmental health infrastructure for Indigenous and Island communities, in conjunction with the State’s Indigenous councils.