QLD Budget 2021-22: A community-focused budget for Queenslanders
Tuesday 15 June 2021
Treasurer Cameron Dick this afternoon handed down the 2021-22 Queensland State Budget. This will be the second budget that he has delivered and the seventh budget of the Palaszczuk Government.
In a significant announcement, the Treasurer advised that in the 2021-22 financial year, net debt will be reduced by $9.7 billion compared to previous forecasts and that projections estimate Queensland will return to surplus by 2024-25. Mr Dick said this was the single biggest reduction ever recorded in the state, which was largely driven by the transfer of the Titles Registry to the Queensland Future Fund.
The Treasurer also attributed the state’s strong performance to the success of Queensland’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan and noted that the domestic economy is forecast to grow by 3.25 per cent this financial year. The state’s success was demonstrated by the improvement in key economic indicators, including household spending, dwelling approval and construction.
The Treasurer used his speech to Parliament to highlight 130 years of the Australian Labor Party which, he said, has an ‘enduring mission’ to deliver jobs and higher wages for workers. He noted that Queensland’s strong economic performance is expected to boost employment growth to achieve 5 per cent unemployment by the end of the forward estimates.
The Treasurer drew attention to high interstate migration levels as a key factor in increasing the local participation rate. However, Mr Dick acknowledged that the Government will need to address the challenges and opportunities of a larger population and, as such, that the 2021-22 Budget focuses on creating more jobs, investment in health and better education outcomes.
In health, as the pandemic continues to impact Queensland, the Treasurer announced there would be no cuts to the sector. Operational funding for health will grow by 13 per cent over two years and the Government announced it will establish a $2 billion Hospital Building Fund to alleviate pressure in the system caused by the growing population.
In education, the Budget allocated $16.8 billion in funding for measures including ongoing universal access to kindergarten and 10 new primary and secondary schools. The community will be further supported by $1.9 billion over the forward estimates for social housing and the Treasurer was pleased to announce a new $300 million Path to Treaty Fund for Queensland’s First Nations People.
In infrastructure, the Government confirmed a $50 billion spend, carried forward from the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan. As foreshadowed by the Premier, significant funding has also been provided for renewables development, with $2 billion allocated to commercial clean energy and hydrogen projects.
Opposition Leader David Crisafulli will give his Budget Reply speech this Thursday and then Budget Estimates will run from 27 July to 5 August. Mr Crisafulli will be eager to use these opportunities to pursue the Government over reducing debt and achieving surplus.
For further information on key Qld portfolio measures, please refer to GRACosway’s detailed briefings:
- Social Policy
- Education, Employment, Small Business and Training
- Energy, Public Works, Environment and Science
- Police, Fire and Emergency Services, Justice, Attorney-General and Corrective Services
- Transport and Main Roads, State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning
KEY PARAMETERS IN 2021-22
- Total expenses of $67 billion
- Deficit of $3.5 billion
- Net debt to reach $24.7 billion in 2021-22 and continue to rise over forward estimates
- Gross state product to grow by 2.75 per cent
- Employment to rise by 3 per cent, with projected unemployment rate of 5.75 per cent
- The state budget projected to reach surplus in 2024-25