Bad news in budget
ACCORDING to Member for Warrego Ann Leahy, the Queensland State Budget, which was released last Tuesday, predicts higher unemployment, increases in state debt and savage cuts on infrastructure.
“Unemployment is forecast to remain above 6% and... the state’s debt is predicted to reach $80 billion for the first time in history,” Ms Leahy said.
“Not only is there debt to pay back but the growing interest bill diverts funds away from necessary infrastructure projects and the provision of frontline services.
“In conjunction with interest payments there is a consistent trend of underspend on infrastructure of
$1.7 billion last year and $2 billion underspend in 2015-16 in regional areas.
“The regions, who are producing a coal royalty revenue increase of 80% in 2016-17 are not receiving their fair share in return for infrastructure projects,” she said.
“Instead we see projects like the Cross River Rail being allocated more than $2.9 billion, a project that will not carry one freight train. The regions need regional rail infrastructure investment, not their hard-earned funds siphoned off to Cross River Rail.”