Queensland budget 2024-25 delivers “gifts and grenades”

queensland-budget-2024-2025

budget 2024/25, infrastructure partnerships australia, queensland,

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The Miles Government has announced major investments in hospitals, energy, rail, roads, and schools in the 2024-25 Queensland Budget, marking a significant shift from the more restrained infrastructure plans of other states for the next fiscal year, according to Infrastructure Partnerships Australia.

“This Budget is full of gifts and grenades. Where other state governments have been disciplined in their spending and debt management in this fiscally constrained environment, Queensland appears to be throwing caution to the wind, pushing public debt to record levels,” says Infrastructure Partnerships Australia Chief Executive, AdrianDwyer.

“While new funding must cater to the state’s ever-growing population, it is difficult to look past some of the decisions in this year’s Budget, including introducing 50-cent public transport fares, as anything other than an early votes grab.

“In further evidence, a $184 million pre-election war chest has been set aside for “decisions made but not yet announced” for 2024-25.

“Positive infrastructure investment outcomes must be rooted in sound economic sense and driven by more than short-term motivations. Mr Dwyer says that it is worth noting that many of this year’s headline infrastructure expenditure figures will be funded by user charges rather than state expenditure – including the infrastructure build out required for the energy transition.

“Our analysis shows Treasurer Cameron Dick has increased infrastructure funding by 22.8 per cent or $10.3 billion on the allocation in the 2023-24 Budget, bringing general government infrastructure funding to $55.6 billion over the next four years,” says Mr Dwyer.

“This funding represents 14.6 per cent of the Queensland Government’s total general government expenditure, above the 10-year average of 11.3 per cent.

“Much of this investment will be directed towards billion-dollar construction cost overruns across many state significant projects including the Coomera Connector, Beerburrum to Nambour rail line, Rockhampton Ring Road and Gold Coast to Logan Faster Rail.

“The government has also included $1 billion of “equity funding” for the Capacity Expansion Program in 2027-28. For something to be genuinely treated as equity it must deliver a return to taxpayers.

“Without details on how, it is difficult to believe a return is achievable. The Government must provide details, or the only assumption is that the accountants have discovered a Budget magic pudding – but they’ll need to explain that too.”

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia is the nation’s industry think tank providing independent policy research focused on excellence in social and economic infrastructure.

Source: Infrastructure Partnerships Australia

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