Why is debt off the ta­ble

Sunshine Coast Daily - - NEWS OPINION -

DEBT and its quan­tum were key elec­tion talk­ing points at the 2012 and 2015 state elec­tions but have been com­pletely off the ta­ble to date ahead of the Novem­ber 25 poll.

The Sun­shine Coast Busi­ness Coun­cil through its chair Sandy Zubrinich wants to know what both of the ma­jor par­ties in­tend to ad­dress debt ex­pected to spi­ral to $81 bil­lion by the 2020-21 fi­nan­cial year.

The coun­cil’s con­cerns are not to be lightly dis­missed. Ex­am­ples are ev­ery­where glob­ally of the dis­as­ter that awaits na­tions, states and even mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties who fail to ad­e­quately man­age their fi­nances to rein in debt.

Ms Zubrinich points out that while state debt growth has slowed ac­cord­ing to Trea­sury fig­ures re­leased in June, it was still grow­ing.

The elec­tion cam­paign to date has been more about spend­ing prom­ises rather than fis­cal man­age­ment with lit­tle in­di­ca­tion of where the money was be­ing sourced.

It is to be hoped that in the re­main­ing days of this cam­paign that both ma­jor par­ties lay their cost­ings on the ta­ble and ex­plain how we they will be funded.

Queens­land re­mains on track for con­tin­ued growth, es­pe­cially in the south east corner de­spite an in­fra­struc­ture lag that now runs to many bil­lions of dol­lars.

As the free ride af­forded by the min­ing sec­tor con­tin­ues to wind back and as debt mounts, vot­ers have a right to ex­pect clear ex­pla­na­tion from all po­lit­i­cal par­ties about how Queens­land would be able to af­ford the fu­tures they are now promis­ing the elec­torate.

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