What the State Budget means for business
Source: Timber Queensland - TQ Alert Issue 16 | 15 June 2016
Treasurer Curtis Pitt has handed down his second Budget with a number of positive aspects, particularly with regard to infrastructure, jobs and innovation spending, but also a number of risks tied to optimistic revenue growth.
Key Budget measures, as laid out in CCIQ's overview and the Courier-Mail, are:
- Improving outlook for the Queensland economy with Gross State Product growth increasing from 3.5% in 2015/16 to 4% in 2016/17;
- Operating surpluses of $152 million in 2015/16 and $867 million in 2016/17 - this is however tempered by general Government sector and Government-owned corporation debt of $75.27 billion;
- No tax relief for business or significant commitments to cut red tape and stem the flow of regulation;
- $10.7 billion infrastructure spend for 2016/17 and $40 billion over the next four years which includes $180 million Significant Regional Infrastructure Projects Program for projects in Townsville, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Maryborough, Cairns, Mackay and Mt. Isa, as well as a $97 million Northern Roads Package;
- $225 million Advance Queensland measures, including a $40 million industry fund, to support innovation;
- Rural and regional Queensland will receive significant funding - $10 000 grants for employers who hire regional workers and $15 000 grants for employers who hire long-term unemployed regional workers under a $100 million Back to Work Regional Employment Package, $175 million increase to Building our Regions Program, $10.8 million for biosecurity capability review, and $2500 grants for primary producers for advice on climate risks and financial management;
- Environment spending includes $6.8 million to develop climate change policy and $7.8 million for high-resolution satellite imagery to detect illegal clearing;
- Increase in the First Home Owner Grant from $15 000 to $20 000 for 12 months.
Read the Government's official Budget highlights.