The Courier-Mail

Palaszczuk needs a lit­tle ‘can-do’ magic

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PREMIER An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk can talk all she likes about how to save the state’s econ­omy ( C-M, Sep 4).

De­spite his alarm­ing lack of po­lit­i­cal smarts, for­mer premier Camp­bell New­man had the only an­swer to the state’s eco­nomic malaise. That is to “sell state as­sets”, al­low­ing new as­sets to be built and to re­duce state debt from the Beat­tie/ Bligh years. This will kick-start the econ­omy.

The LNP needs the po­lit­i­cal courage to tell it like it is, not squib the is­sue. Busi­ness, in­dus­try work­ers and tradies should be ask­ing In­de­pen­dent Peter Welling­ton and the Kat­ter’s Aus­tralian Party MPs why they are al­low­ing the state to go to hell in a hand­cart. or that she sim­ply does not want to.

I sug­gest she step aside and let some­body with the skills, knowl­edge and willpower to get this state go­ing. Any­one can talk about any­thing, but it does not fix any prob­lem. QUEENS­LAND’S and Aus­tralia’s econ­omy needs to be kick-started quickly.

Queens­land needs two large in­fra­struc­ture pro­grams to be­gin soon.

The first is a new rail tun­nel un­der the Bris­bane River, and for good mea­sure add a world­class un­der­ground city cir­cle metro line.

The sec­ond is for the Bruce High­way to be in­creased to four lanes, stretch­ing at least to Rock­hamp­ton.

Both projects are mas­sive and ex­pen­sive, but are vi­tal for the suc­cess of our state be- cause ben­e­fits will flow dur­ing con­struc­tion and well into the fu­ture. They can only be built with the co-op­er­a­tion of both state and fed­eral gov­ern­ments.

Alas it will mean go­ing against the elec­tion prom­ises of both gov­ern­ments to re­duce debt, as large amounts of money would need to be bor­rowed. But how else will projects of this ilk ever be built? It makes good eco­nomic sense and is in ev­ery­one’s in­ter­est. WHAT is it with these busi­ness peo­ple?

On the one hand, they boast about their prow­ess and acu­men and de­mand that gov­ern­ments “get out of their way”, and on the other, when times get dif­fi­cult they whinge about need­ing more gov­ern­ment sup­port.

They have sup­ported two LNP gov­ern­ments, one in Queens­land and one fed­er­ally, that have been so openly probusi­ness that they have com­pletely lost touch with the needs and as­pi­ra­tions of most Aus­tralians who are the main cus­tomers of these busi­nesses.

In­stead of blam­ing gov­ern­ments and the unions for their woes, busi­nesses should look to their own poor plan­ning, un­der­cap­i­tal­i­sa­tion and sup­port for a free mar­ket that favours ruth­less com­pe­ti­tion and only “win­ners and losers”.

If busi­ness lead­ers and own­ers gave more thought to their cus­tomers’ real needs and wel­fare they might see a cor­re­spond­ing re­cip­ro­cal ben­e­fit. CALLS by busi­ness for the State Gov­ern­ment to ini­ti­ate a stim­u­lus pro­gram are not only naive and self-serv­ing, they are dan­ger­ous.

Queens­land and Aus­tralia have been liv­ing in a fool’s par­adise for decades.

We have an econ­omy built on ar­ti­fi­cial de­mand cre­ated by ex­ces­sive debt/credit. We have spent un­earned in­come to­day and thus stolen from fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

The so­lu­tion sug­gested by some in the busi­ness sec­tor is for the State Gov­ern­ment to spend money it doesn’t have on var­i­ous projects to save the ba­con of busi­ness. That would al­most cer­tainly re­quire more gov­ern­ment in­debt­ed­ness when debt is al­ready ex­ces­sive.

World events of the last seven years demon­strate the fu­til­ity and stu­pid­ity of that strat­egy. Re­ces­sions and de­pres­sions arise from in­ap­pro­pri­ate eco­nomic be­hav­iour and are nec­es­sary nat­u­ral events.

We need a re­ces­sion to re­store re­al­ism and make us re­think our eco­nomic strat­egy.

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