BEATTIE’S RECOVERY BLUEPRINT
Whole new economic strategy required to reignite the state
FORMER premier Peter Beattie has laid out a blueprint to fire up Queensland’s shrinking economy – calling for a revamped version of his Smart State strategy.
An innovation revolution funded by tax breaks, a cash injection from superannuation funds and joint ventures with China, would combine to kickstart the state’s alarming slump, Mr Beattie said.
“I don’t quite remember seeing the Queensland economy this bad, to be honest,” he said.
“We are still struggling to get out of the shadow of the GFC and we are transitioning from the end of the mining boom.
“The ugly reality is that if you think there is going to be a return to the days of big royalties from coal, you are dreaming.”
The former premier laid out his solution after business leaders this week called on Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to act immediately to jump-start Queensland’s stalling economy.
FORMER premier Peter Beattie has laid out a blueprint for reigniting Queensland’s shrinking economy.
Business leaders have repeatedly called on Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk this week to act to stop the state’s economy stalling, with figures showing Queensland was the poorest performing state domestic economy in the country.
“I don’t quite remember seeing the Queensland economy this bad to be honest,’’ Mr Beattie said. “We are still struggling to get out of the shadow of the GFC and we are transitioning from the end of the mining boom.’’
The loss of coal royalties had been exacerbated by lower-than-expected returns from the coal seam gas/LNG industry as falling oil prices depressed the energy sector.
“The ugly reality is that if you think there is going to be a return to the days of big royalties from coal, you are dreaming,” Mr Beattie said.
“Annastacia has inherited a significant problem and it will only be resolved by longterm change in the economic strategy.”
In the short-term, the private sector had to support the Government to stimulate jobs growth through publicprivate partnerships to build infrastructure.
“The Queen’s Wharf (integrated casino-resort) project will be a real shot in the arm but it’s not enough on its own,” Mr Beattie said.
While infrastructure con- struction would help tide things over, “a whole new economic strategy’’ was needed.
The ex-Labor leader says the secret to success lies in building on the “Smart State’’ strategy he launched in the late 1990s which created medical research and aviation industry hubs here.
“The world’s leading economies such as the US, China and Germany are focusing on the knowledge economy because that is where 50 per cent of all future jobs will come from,’’ he said.
Mr Beattie is proposing three key measures to generate crucial funds to support innovation and commercialisation of research: • Reform of national and state taxation systems to reward investment in innovation and research and development through tax concessions; • Encouraging Australian superannuation funds to invest in homegrown commercially-viable innovation; and • Establishing an AustraliaChina capital venture fund to link “Aussie brainpower and Chinese financial clout”.
Had the momentum of the Smart State concept been maintained, the state would have been in a stronger position today, he added.
“The three most significant disruptive technologies in the future will be nanotech, biotech and spatial tech. Queens- land is good at all three,” Mr Beattie said.
Queensland’s job growth depended on applying groundbreaking innovation across a range of industries including agribusiness, medical technologies and mining services.
Mr Beattie said Ms Palaszczuk was “150 per cent spoton” with her Advance Queensland vision to bring industry, universities and government together to turn ideas into investment-ready projects.
“What’s missing is money,” he said. “That’s why we need tangible approaches to generate that money.”
Too often, world-beating research generated here was brought to fruition overseas, creating production, profits and jobs elsewhere.
“As a result, Australia is in the process of being left behind the rest of the developing world with a serious threat to our future living standards.”