Treasurer Hon Jackie Trad MP handed down the Queensland State Budget on 12 June 2018. This Budget has a focus on economic growth for a growing population.

The theme of creating jobs in Queensland which we have seen throughout the current Government’s tenure has been maintained, along with significant investment in infrastructure and education. There is a trade-off though with a significant increase in debt to fund these initiatives and a massive interest bill for future Queenslanders.

The headline takeaways from the Budget are:

  • A net operating surplus of $1.512 billion expected for 2017-18, which is $1.027 billion higher than estimated at the 2017-18 Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Review and $1.366 billion higher than the surplus forecast at the time of the 2017-18 Budget.
  • Forecasted operating surpluses over forward estimates, starting with $148 million in 2018-19.
  • Employment growth is forecasted to strengthen to 2.75% over the year to June 2018 quarter, which would reflect the strongest growth in more than a decade.
  • Economic growth is expected to strengthen to 2.75% in 2017-18 and 3% in 2018-19.
  • $45.8 billion capital works expenditure over four years, an increase of $3 billion on last year’s Budget. This is the biggest capital works programme since the 2011 flood recovery effort.
  • Investment of $21.7 billion over the next four years in the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program (QTRIP) included much-needed upgrades to critical road congestion issues.
  • A $17.3 billion health budget and a record $14.1 billion investment in education and training for 2017-18.
  • An increased debt of $13.6 billion to increase the State’s total debt to a record $83.1 billion, with interest payments increasing to $3.7 billion a year by 2021-22.

This Budget seeks to facilitate growth in Queensland by increasing the economic opportunities available to Queenslanders through investment in capital works. This is supplemented through the investment in education and training to enhance the capacity of Queenslanders to access these opportunities. Despite a significant increase to debt, the Government considers these investments necessary to support a growing population.

This Budget also introduces five new taxes, including four that were previously announced in the November election, which impact luxury car buyers, betting, foreign property investors and landholders, alongside the reintroduced waste levy, which will combine to raise $1.8 billion over the next four years.