This afternoon Queensland's Treasurer, Anna Bligh, brought down the Beattie Government's 10th Budget, a budget she declared "will keep our economy strong, fair and prepared"¹ . This Hawker Britton Occasional Paper aims to give a brief outline of some of its highlights.
- Forecast 2006-07 operating surplus of $245 million, estimated actual surplus $2.393 billion;
- Forecast 2007-08 operating surplus of $268 million;
- Forecast 5% growth (national growth 3.75%); and
- Forecast 4% unemployment rate (national unemployment rate 5%).
Queensland Future Growth Fund
Using the proceeds of the sale of electricity and gas retails business, the Government established the $3 billion Queensland Future Growth Fund. The fund will provide:
- $1 billion for enhanced water projects;
- $600 million for commercial infrastructure including the Government's energy corporations;
- $500 million to social housing;
- $500 million for transport infrastructure;
- $300 million to clean coal technology research projects;
- $100 million for renewable and energy saving initiatives; and
- $100 million to Smart State research projects.
Including previously announced spending, the 2007-08 Queensland Budget commits to $14 billion worth of capital spending. Most notably:
- $2.5 billion in water infrastructure;
- $5.767 billion for main roads and transport (including QR and port infrastructure);
- $2.76 billion for energy infrastructure.
- $619.1 million of education, training and the arts; and
- $635 million for health.
The Government is emphasising the existing competitive rates of taxation, arguing that in Queensland, per person, taxes are $131 lower than the average for other states and territories. New announcements include:
- 50% cut in mortgage duty from 1 January 2008, with full abolition from 1 January 2009;
- $50 million land tax relief package; and
- Changes to motor vehicle duty rates from 1 January 2008.
For more information on the budget you can visit www.budget.qld.gov.au or contact your Hawker Britton consultant.
¹ Appropriation Bill 2007 Pg. 1 Second Reading Speech, 5 June 2007