Bad news in bud­get

Western Times - - NEWS -

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.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.