21 June 2017 –
This year’s Queensland State Budget is focused on supporting jobs, investing in infrastructure, investing in health and education, helping low income earners, boosting renewable energy, building public housing, and rebuilding after Cyclone Debbie.
This Budget will directly support around 40,000 jobs across the State, while continuing to create more, and improve employment outcomes for all Queenslanders into the future.
Support for jobs includes:
- $48.16 billion spend on infrastructure (this includes $604.6 million to build or refurbish school facilities)
- $3.885 billion to build better transport and roads across Queensland
- $60 million for the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative (which has helped over 9,500 people find jobs, undertake further training, study, or both)
- $50 million to continue the Back to Work program in regional Queensland – as of the end of May 2017 this program has already helped 4,334 people into work
- $27.5 million to support South East Queensland employers who hire long-term unemployed or young unemployed jobseekers
- Investments in Queensland’s biofuel sector, supporting construction and ongoing jobs
- $10.9 million invested in Queensland businesses through the Business Development Fund
- An extra $10 million to support innovative small business ideas.
Since March 2015, the Queensland Government has employed an extra 3,172 nurses, 882 allied health professionals, 1,191 doctors, 250 ambulance operatives and support staff.
An additional 3,300 nursing and midwifery graduates, 16 nurse educators, and 121 nurse navigators have commenced across Queensland over the last two years.
Health Budget highlights include:
- A record $1.887 billion spend for disability support services
- $916.1 million for health facilities and infrastructure – including $8.7 million to start work on new adolescent mental health facilities at The Prince Charles Hospital
- $149 million for free or subsidised dental services
- $126.5 million to reduce specialist outpatient long waits
- $10.9 million to deliver additional gastrointestinal endoscopies to support the national bowel screening program
- $6.3 million for continuing recruitment of nurse navigators to help Queenslanders with complex medical issues
Since March 2015, the Queensland Government has employed an extra 3,095 teachers and teacher aides.
This Budget sees a record $13.7 billion spend for education across Queensland – helping our children to grow and learn through:
- $28 million as part of the $500 million Building Future Schools Fund to address enrolment growth pressures in state schools
- $200 million in additional funding to fast track 98 school infrastructure projects
- $250 million for new secondary school classrooms and other infrastructure to cater for an expected 17,000 new students by 2020
- $314.8 million in programs to provide children with access to quality early childhood education and care
- 230 more new teachers in 2018 and 2019
- $150 million to attract, retain and build capacity in Queensland teachers and school leaders.
The Palaszczuk Government recognises that access to safe, affordable and appropriate housing is a fundamental human need. This Budget’s injection of $1.8 billion over 10 years into the Queensland Housing Strategy is the biggest commitment to housing in Queensland’s recent history.
- $1.2 billion to renew the existing social housing property portfolio
- $416.5 million for new housing construction
- $3.5 million to build two new refuges for women and children escaping family and domestic violence
- First Home Owners’ Grant extended – the grant will continue to provide $20,000 to help first home owners for a further six months.
HELPING LOW INCOME EARNERS
The Palaszczuk Government remains committed to easing cost of living pressures for households and small businesses through a range of initiatives:
- $54 million for the Pensioner Rate Subsidy Scheme
- Up to $341 per year in electricity rebates to eligible pensioners, seniors and Commonwealth Health Care Card holders
- Up to $120 per year in water subsidies for eligible pensioner property owners in South East Queensland
- $230 million over four years to make public transport fares cheaper and fairer.
BOOSTING RENEWABLE ENERGY
The $1.16 billion Powering Queensland Plan provides a roadmap to ensure affordable, secure and sustainable energy supply for Queenslanders. It will lead the State’s transition to a 50 per cent renewable energy target.
Actions under the Plan include:
- $771 million to provide relief to consumers by covering the cost of the Solar Bonus Scheme
- $200 million towards funding and improvement works for the proposed hydro-electric power station at Burdekin Falls Dam
- $150 million for the development of infrastructure to support a clean energy hub in North Queensland. The hub will connect the 75MW wind farm at Forsayth, the 520MW Kidston Hydro and Solar project and the 1,200MW Kennedy Energy Park near Hughenden which combines wind and solar generation. There has been an unprecedented level of renewable energy investment activity in North Queensland, with existing projects expected to deliver $1.6 billion of infrastructure spending and create more than 1,400 jobs.
LOCAL HIGHLIGHTS FOR STAFFORD
- $8.7 million to start work on new adolescent mental health facilities at The Prince Charles Hospital
- $4.6 million to complete Alderley and Newmarket stations upgrades
- $8.17 million for upgrades and refurbishments to local schools
- $415,332 for local medical research
- $145,000 in grants to local small and medium businesses to support innovation and local jobs