On­line budget tool gives you a say

Central and North Burnett Times - - NATIONAL & WORLD NEWS -

THE de­ci­sion to sell $32 bil­lion worth of govern­ment-owned as­sets, in­crease taxes or cut ser­vices to bal­ance Queens­land budget is now in your hands.

A new in­ter­ac­tive tool al­lows all Queens­lan­ders to walk in the Trea­surer’s shoes and find a way to re­duce the state’s debt by $25-30 bil­lion.

The people’s budget tool re­veals the govern­ment could make more than $32 bil­lion if it sold key Queens­land as­sets.

They could pocket a po­ten­tial $28 bil­lion from al­low­ing pri­vate in­vest­ment in Pow­er­link, Er­gon and En­ergex, $3 bil­lion for govern­ment-owned gen­er­a­tors CS En­ergy and Stan­well and $1.7 bil­lion for the two ports and the Mount Isa to Townsville rail line.

But be­fore get­ting to the big ticket items – there is a slid­ing scale al­low­ing users to in­crease or de­crease taxes or ser­vices.

There are more than 60 choices in all ma­jor spend­ing ar­eas in the full ver­sion but APN will run a re­duced ver­sion on its web­sites.

Each move deducts the sav­ing or ex­tra rev­enue from the $80 bil­lion debt scale – based on Com­mis­sion of Au­dit fig­ures – above.

Then you can choose how to spend those sav­ings.

Queens­land Trea­surer Tim Ni­cholls in­sists the tool is not just for show and he will con­sider all feed­back to make de­ci­sions about the im­pend­ing State Budget and how to pay down debt.

Ul­ti­mately the de­ci­sion will still come down to his govern­ment but he is res­o­lute he will lis­ten.

“By the time this closes on May 19, it will give us a snapshot of Queens­lan­ders’ views about how to fix a very big prob­lem.

Have your say at www.south­bur­nett­times.com.au.

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