By Matthew Pearce and AAP
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher says he’s proud to be part of a Government prioritising “good jobs, better services and a great lifestyle” following the release of the 2022 State Budget.
On Tuesday, 21 June, Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick announced a tax hike for big businesses, gambling companies and coal miners to fund more hospital beds and mental health programs.
In Central Queensland, the budget will deliver $992.8m on infrastructure, $29.1m for social housing, $753.8m on health, $21.4m for disaster recovery and reconstruction, $75.6m on education and $7.7m for Skilling Queenslanders for Work.
“Education, transport, state development and our wonderful Gladstone Port are all winners today and I look forward to these projects coming to fruition,” Mr Butcher said.
“I know the cost of living is top-of-mind for many in the region, so to see $6.8 billion made available for a range of health, energy, water, transport and housing concessions is just fantastic.”
Federal Member for Flynn Colin Boyce labelled the State Labor Government’s Budget as all ‘smoke and mirrors’, containing a raft of promises for the southeast corner and little for regional Queensland.
Speaking on Tueaday, Mr Dick said the budget would deliver an unexpected $1.9 billion surplus, after forecasting a $1.49 billion deficit six months ago, with surging earnings from coal and land transfer taxes flooding government coffers.
Coal and gas royalties have soared in 2021/22, but the former are expected shrink as international prices ease.
Mr Dick forecasts the budget to slip $1 billion into the red in 2022/23, and remain around that level until there’s a $137 million surplus in 2024/25.
To fill the hole in the budget left by easing coal prices, he said miners will pay higher tax on each tonne of coal sold for more than $175.
Gambling firms will pay more for bets, and businesses with an annual wage bill above $100 million will pay more payroll tax.
Mr Dick said the tax changes will rake in an extra $926 million and only impact the top one per cent of businesses.
He denied he has broken an election promise not to create or lift taxes.
“We didn’t make that promise to big corporations, we didn’t make it to big international online betting companies headquartered in tax havens, we didn’t make it to multinational coal companies.
Gladstone Region Projects receiving funding in the 2022-23 Queensland Budget include:
Central Queensland Hydrogen Project: $6.7 million in 2022-23 out of a $15.3 million total spend to co-fund the evaluation of a proposed CQ-H2 Hydrogen Project. Part of the Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund.
Gladstone State Development Area: $48.7 million in 2022-23 out of a $79.8 million total spend to develop infrastructure required to support the efficient delivery of major industrial expansion.
Gladstone Port initiatives: $79.2 million for RG Tanna upgrades, a new shiploader, port services and Auckland Point Hill projects. Part of the Regional Recovery Partnerships program.
Gladstone Central State School: $2.7 million in 2022-23 out of a $5.8 million total spend to deliver a new hall.
Toolooa State High School: $9.4 million in 2022-23 out of a $11 million total spend to construct a new building for additional learning spaces and a new
Calliope State High School: $4.5 million in 2022-23 out of a $13.8 million total spend to construct a new building for additional learning spaces.
Callide Power Station enhancements, overhauls, refurbishment and rebuild: $45 million in 2022-23 (including $16.4 million at Callide B) for planned maintenance and overhauls.
Bruce Highway (Gin Gin – Benaraby): Charnwood Road to Palm Creek, improve safety $3.7 million in 2022-23 out of a $24 million total spend towards safety works on the Bruce Highway between Charnwood Road to Palm Creek. Delivered in partnership with the Australian Government.
Rookwood Weir: $122.9 million in 2022-23 out of a $367.2 million total spend to construct Rookwood Weir and drive new economic and employment opportunities for the agricultural industry and the community of Central Queensland. Part of the National Water Grid Fund, delivered in partnership with the Australian Government.