QLD Budget 2023-24: Cost of living in focus for Queensland

 13 June 2023

QLD Budget 2023-24: Cost of living in focus for Queensland 

Housing, health and the cost of living were the core pillars that made up Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick’s fourth budget which he described today as his ‘toughest’ yet. In his Budget speech, Treasurer Dick outlined that the Government’s priority is to deliver cost of living relief measures, without adding to inflationary pressures. This Budget is a crucial second-last pitch for the Palaszczuk Government, with the October 2024 State Election just 500 days away.

The 2023-2024 Budget revealed Queensland will record a budget surplus of $12.3 billion in this financial year, with the Treasurer highlighting this as “the largest budget surplus ever recorded by any state or territory government”, due to the coal royalties tax introduced in 2022. Treasurer Dick said the funds will go towards paying down state debt and relieving cost of living pressures, stating: “Help is on the way”. Queensland’s economy is forecast to grow two percent this financial year, rising to three percent in 2023-24.

As the centerpiece to its budget pitch, the Palaszczuk Government outlined a $88.7 billion infrastructure spend dubbed, ‘The Big Build’. The four-year capital works program to 2027 will cover energy, health and Brisbane Olympic Games 2032 projects. The Big Build includes previously-announced programs such as the $19 billion Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan and the hospital capacity expansion programs. 65 per cent of the allocation will be spent outside of the greater Brisbane area.

In cost of living measures, the Queensland Government will provide an electricity rebate of $250 per household to match the Federal government’s commitment, with all 2.2 million Queensland households eligible. Further to this, eligible Queensland concession holders will receive a bonus electricity bill rebate of $150 in addition to their $372 standing concession. Altogether, it means eligible Queensland concession holders will receive a total of $1,072 in concessions and cost of living relief.

At the intersection of cost of living relief and education, young families will be the recipients of $645 million for free kindergarten. The measure will provide an estimated additional 50,000 Queensland kids with up to 15 hours of free kindergarten per week, up from 14,000 that previously qualified for the scheme.

The health portfolio will receive $25.8 billion, which is a 9.6 per cent increase on the existing health operating budget. $764 million of this will go directly towards ambulance ramping and measures to shorten emergency department wait times, including $72 million for 200 more paramedics, $28 million for new and replacement ambulances, and $22 million in a cost of living allowance for nursing and midwifery students in regional, rural and remote Queensland.

Further, $42 million has been committed to fund maternity services in rural and regional areas. The measure will include an expansion of outreach obstetric and gynecology services, including telehealth-enabled care, and to support outreach and retrieval services.

In the face of a worsening housing shortage, the State Government committed an additional $322 million on top of existing funds of $3.9 billion to build 500 more social homes as part of the Quickstarts Queensland construction program. A funding pool of $64.3 million was also announced to purchase and lease emergency accommodation facilities in inner-Brisbane.

On transport infrastructure, the Government continues existing projects, with $420 million for Stage 1 of the Coomera Connector in southeast Queensland, and $260 million for the Gold Coast Light Rail.

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli will give his Budget Reply speech this Thursday 15 June with Budget Estimates to follow in August.

Key Parameters

  • $12.3 billion surplus for 2023-24.
  • Net debt is forecast to be $5.85 billion as at 30 June 2023.
  • Unemployment rate at 4.25 per cent, with employment growth expected to ease to one per cent in 2023-24.
  • Gross state product forecast grow a further two per cent in 2022-23 and strengthen to three per cent growth in 2023-24.
  • Infrastructure spend in 2023-24 is $20.3 billion

Further Reading

For more information on the State Budget, or to enquire about our communications, public affairs and government relations services in Queensland, please contact our Brisbane office on +61 7 3226 2600 or [email protected].


Kirstin Payne
Associate Director – Public Affairs
M: +61 412 153 160
E: [email protected]


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