State budget lacks vision

LNP and Katters respond to Queensland budget

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LNP leader David Crisafulli with his team.

LNP leader David Crisafulli with his team.

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LNP leader David Crisafulli says the state budget is lacking vision and will plunge Queensland into crippling debt for little return.

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LNP leader David Crisafulli says the state budget is lacking vision and will plunge Queensland into crippling debt for little return.

Delivering his budget reply speech in state parliament yesterday, Mr Crisafulli said while he acknowledged election commitments had been honoured in Treasurer Cameron Dick's pandemic delayed budget, capital works projects needed to be fast-tracked.

Mr Crisafulli said the government had broken a promise in the lead up to the state election, when they said $4 billion would need to be borrowed to get Queeensland moving.

On Tuesday, Mr Dick instead said $28 billion would be borrowed over four years.

"The government led Queenslanders to believe that it would only need to borrow $4 billion and then immediately helped itself to seven times more," Mr Crisafulli said.

"Queenslanders have 28 billion reasons to feel deceived.

"The net worth of the Queensland government will increase by 0.08 per cent over the forward estimates.

"Queensland will borrow an additional $28 billion and yet the value of the state is stagnant."

Mr Crisafulli said the budget lacked vision and lamented the lack of big ticket, future-building initiatives.

"Labor has rolled the dice on debt, but it is to put fuel in cars and pens on desks, not roads to ease congestion and dams for economic opportunity.

"They have no vision and no ability to get things going.

"Fast tracking our capital expenditure and partnering with other levels of government is the only cure for a stubbornly high unemployment rate."

Mr Crisafulli called for 'the war on farmers' to end, saying agriculture could play a major part in Queensland's economic recovery.

"I want to see Queensland's food and fibre output bolstered through a significant co-investment in education, training and support to producers to use world's best practice technological development and sustainable practices.

"Significant productivity benefits could be achieved and the resulting benefits to employment and production from next generation agricultural technology could be leveraged off a small government investment.

"We need a significant investment in agricultural research and development."

Mr Crisafulli said dams and water infrastructure must be a priority.

"It has been nearly two decades since we last built a dam in this state."

KAP leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter also lamented the lack of vision in the budget.

He said it was big on rhetoric and empty of substance and real solutions to bolstering industry and recuperating the economy.

"We need Hell's Gates Dam funding, Hughenden dam funding, North Johnstone Transfer funding, and support to build and run ethanol mills," Mr Katter said.

"The budget is big on rhetoric and big on throwing money around but it lacks substance and on-the-ground knowledge from talking to small businesses and industries on the ground who were desperately seeking answers here and they haven't found them."

While he acknowledged Queensland Government funding commitments to dams and energy, Mr Katter said they were only achieved after heavy pressure from the KAP.

"We welcomed the Queensland Government's 2020-21 commitment to invest $3 million in the pre-construction phase of Big Rocks Weir near Charters Towers, and the continued support of both governments to progress CopperString2.0 to final investment stage next year, but that followed hard lobbying from the KAP to keep the projects on the government agenda," he said.

He said while he welcomed the Labor government's focus on maintaining and progressing schools and hospitals, it was lunacy to suggest this sort of spending created "good debt".

"Good debt is when you spend money on creating assets like dams, railway lines and projects in key industries that will deliver legacy benefits for years to come," Mr Katter said.

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