Federal Budget forgets Queensland
There’s not a lot of good news for Queensland in this Budget — the Sunshine State is now the forgotten state.
In fact in the entire budget speech the word “Queensland” was not mentioned once.
The Morrison Budget is titled “Sticking to Our National Economic Plan”. It certainly sticks to the practice of ignoring Queensland.
There is not a cent for the NQ Stadium in Townsville.
There is not a cent for Cross River Rail.
There is no new funding for the Bruce Highway and other “new” funds have already been announced for the Ipswich Motorway and Toowoomba Second Range Crossing.
There is not a cent from the $5 billion asset recycling fund that is conditional on asset sales and sees billions given to public transport projects in other states.
On a population basis alone we should have expected to receive at least $1 billion.
This lack of funding is designed to blackmail us into asset sales.
The cuts to health and education from Joe Hockey’s 2014 Budget have not been restored.
There has been merely a token effort to provide extra funds to education and health.
Roads and water funds for Northern Australia are not attached to any specific projects.
We have real concerns for the future of Queensland’s National Partnership Agreements beyond 2017.
There is no certainty about future service provision and no adequate contingency for when funds run out:
early childhood universal access — no funding commitment beyond the end of calendar year 2017 with no mention of ongoing negotiations
skills reform — no funding commitment beyond 2016-17
homelessness — no funding commitment beyond 2016-17
remote indigenous housing — no commitment beyond 2017-18
mental health — no commitment beyond this year
adult public dental services — replaced by a new child and adult public dental health scheme with details of new scheme yet to be provided.
The Turnbull Government has delayed childcare reforms by one year.
If you earn over $37,000 but under $80,000 there’s really nothing for you.
This Budget is a huge disappointment for Queenslanders who were expecting so much more from Malcolm Turnbull.
Queenslanders will pass their own verdict on this Budget at the coming federal poll.