QLD Budget 2024-25: Pre-election budget battle

11 June 2024

QLD Budget 2024-25: Pre-election budget battle

With an October state election on the horizon, the Queensland Government has put forward a 2024-25 Budget with a deficit of $2.6 billion and a total of $11.2 billion in cost of living concessions, in an ambition to fight the financial pressures plaguing Queensland households. Setting its sights on fees and charges, this year’s budget was the first for Premier Steven Miles in the top job, who will likely see this as the final bid before Queenslanders go to the polls in less than 140 days.

According to Treasurer Cameron Dick, the short term pressures faced by families was the focus over long term savings, “We have made the deliberate choice to put our Budget into deficit, to help Queensland households keep their budgets in balance,” he told Parliament on Tuesday.

Key announcements covered cost of living and boosts to energy and health, with the previously announced government fees and charges freeze, energy rebates, an update of the stamp duty concession threshold from $500,000 to $700,000, in addition to $7 billion in extra spending on the Energy and Jobs plan and $4.39 billion in health spending over four years.

The Government’s key infrastructure program ‘The Big Build’ also received an additional boost of $107.3 billion over four years including $27.1 billion in 2024-25 to address construction cost increases and tackle new key infrastructure projects including CopperString 2032 and Stage 3 of the Gold Coast Light Rail.

Headline cost of living measures announced as part of the Budget included:

  • $2.9 billion in 2024-25 to fund $1,000 Cost of Living Energy rebates for each household and small businesses.
  • $435 million to reduce vehicle registration costs by 20 per cent from 5 August for a period of 12 months.
  • $33.5 million increase to a total of $40 million for the FairPlay program which will supply $200 in sporting vouchers for Queensland children aged 5-17 years.
  • $150 million in 2024-25 to fund a flat 50 cent travel fare across the Translink network from 5 August for 6 months.

Coming down from last year and what was described by the Treasurer as the ‘largest surplus ever’ at $13.9 billion in 2023, he revealed his fifth budget would see a $3 billion deficit for the state. At this stage a $1 billion deficit is expected into 2025-26. Net debt is $27.4 billion with total debt to $172 billion by 2027-28.

Foreign buyers and large companies were the hardest hit with changes to duty charges, land tax rates and payroll tax announced. Foreign entities and trustees are expected to experience a one per cent increase in the land tax rate, rising to three per cent by the end of this month. Additionally, the Foreign Owner Transfer Duty Surcharges, an existing levy on purchases of residential property by foreign owners, will also be increased to sit in line with both NSW and Victoria at eight per cent from 1 July.

The additional revenue from both changes is expected to return $330 million and $90 million over the next four years respectively. The Queensland Government has also removed the payroll tax discount eligibility for regional businesses with taxable wages beyond $350 million. This will result in additional revenue of $20 million over the next four years.

Health  

The Treasurer outlined additional spending in the health portfolio budget, detailing a 10.6 per cent increase in overall operating funding to $28.9 billion this year. Measures include a $1 billion boost to the ongoing hospital Capacity Expansion Program, which aims to add 2,200 beds. An additional $1.7 billion will also be spent over the next four years as part of the Health Workforce Strategy for Queensland to 2032 which looks to deliver additional health staff for the state and secure minimum midwife to post-natal patient ratios.

Energy  

The Government also looked to continue its Energy and Jobs Plan delivery with an investment of $26 billion over the four years to 2027–28, an increase of $7 billion.  In the next financial year, funding of $935.9 million and $38.5 million will go to progressing work on the previously announced Borumba Pumped Hydro Energy Storage and Pioneer-Burdekin Pumped Hydro Storage scheme. Publicly-owned energy entities flagged under the earlier Energy and Jobs Program will also receive funding to progress state-owned energy and storage projects, including:

  • $800.7 million for Stanwell’s Wambo and Tarong West Wind Farms.
  • $712 million for Powerlink to progress CopperString 2032.
  • $500 million for CS Energy’s Lotus Creek Wind Farm.
  • $274.8 million for CleanCo’s Swanbank Battery.

Transport  

The Treasurer outlined significant capital investment into rail including $786 million towards the Queensland Train Manufacturing Program, $513.6 million for construction work on Cross River Rail, and $500 million for the Logan and Gold Coast Faster Rail project. Stage 1 of the Coomera Connector will also receive $650 million in funding. The M1 Pacific Motorway and Bruce Highway also received funding for upgrades.

Looking ahead

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli will give his Budget Reply speech this Thursday with Budget Estimates to follow from the week of 23 July.


Key Parameters

  • Net debt is forecast as $27.4 billion for 2024-25.
  • Unemployment rate at 4.5 per cent.
  • Gross State Product stable at 3 per cent before reducing to 2.5 per cent in 2025-26.
  • Infrastructure spend in 2024-25 is $27.1 billion, $107.3 billion over four years.

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 2 7912 1500 or [email protected].

CONTACT:

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

 

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