The fact that this weeks Queensland Government Mini Budget was focused on health, was reflected in the initiatives reported in Hawker Britton’s PreMini Budget Occasional Paper. It is important to note however that the Government also outlined $2 billion worth of infrastructure initiatives, and sought to reassure the public that the program outlined is affordable. What follows is an outline of some of these key initiatives.
Changes to Surplus Projections
The Premier reported that due to the funding initiatives outlined in the Mini Budget the forecast
surplus for this financial year is expected to drop from $934 million to $718 million. In the years to
come it is expected that 2006/07 surplus will change from $588 million to $175 million, in 2008/09
from $556 million to $256 million and in 2009/10 from $220 million to $142 million.
The Premier outline the following $2 billion worth of infrastructure spending on top of the $8 billion
announced in the Budget in the middle of the year.
- $1.3 billion for the Gateway Motorway upgrade and infrastructure investment by Government Owned Corporations
- $350 Million towards replacing more than 100 old and obsolete road bridges in regional
Queensland over the next five years;
- $16 Million as the Queensland Government's contribution to feasibility studies for the Airport Link project;
- $5 Million towards a Western Brisbane Transport Network Investigation to assess transport needs in Brisbane West;
- $9 Million acceleration of $120 million program replacing asbestos roofing in schools;
- $7 million to allow the substitution of recycled water instead of drinking water for two major
industrial users in the Australia Trade Coast area;
- $20 million over the next two financial years to facilitate design, easement acquisition and
business case development for recycled water for the western corridor, to service the needs of industry in this growing region;
- $20 Million as a subsidy to local governments to fasttrack
a pressure reduction and leakage management program in the South East which should add about 10 per cent to our water stocks;
- anadditional $71.8 million over the next four years for joint Information and Communication
Technology initiatives for the Departments of Child Safety, Communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Policy and Disability Services Queensland;
- consideration of a $341 million three stage transmission electricity upgrade between central and north Queensland;
- commitment to the identification of a new multi million dollar generation project for North
Queensland by mid next year;
- commitment to fast tracking the assessment of the $250 million investment in the Southern Regional Water Pipeline linking the Gold Coast and Brisbane regions as well as meeting the emerging needs of the growing western corridor; and
- $27 million towards the costs of upgrading the Wivenhoe Dam spillway
Deputy Premier and Minister for Finance Anna Bligh said the mini Budget reinforced her
Government's commitment to providing the building blocks to help grow Queensland.