Updates

Queensland COVID-19 Economic Recovery Budget invests in jobs and growth

Queensland Government media release

The 2021-22 Queensland COVID-19 Economic Recovery Budget will maximise a resilient economy by investing in the frontline, the future, and communities across the state.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queensland was ready to continue setting the national benchmark for COVID economic recovery.

“This budget is critical in supporting the ongoing implementation of our COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan,” the Premier said.

“And it further strengthens the core pillars of my government: healthcare, education, infrastructure, renewables and jobs.

“Queenslanders expect us to continue investing for the future – their future – which is why this budget puts people first.

“Our successful response to the global pandemic has reminded us once more the value of a world-class health system, and that will be boosted with another record investment in healthcare.

“We’re also set to build more schools, better roads and a workforce for tomorrow, equipping Queenslanders with the skills they need to succeed and unlocking the opportunities our state requires to grow and flourish.”

Treasurer and Minister for Investment Cameron Dick said the budget, at its core, provides fundamental lessons about a health crisis like the COVID pandemic.

“If you protect the health of your people then jobs will grow,” Mr Dick said.

“It’s only because we got our health response right here in Queensland that our economy can now grow with confidence, and this is a budget that invests in that growth.

“We are building new hospitals, schools, roads and stadiums, because we are in one of the strongest financial position of any major government in Australia.

“This is a budget that leverages our state’s strengths to develop new capabilities that will get business and industry firing to create more jobs for Queenslanders.”

In handing down his second state budget today, Mr Dick said Queensland’s economy is surging back, forecast debt is falling, and jobs are coming online in record numbers.

Key budget highlights include:

  • A $3.34 billion Queensland Jobs Fund – including a new $2 billion Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund – to stimulate job creation and industry development
  • A record $22.2 billion health investment, plus a $2 billion Hospital Building Fund to help meet growth pressures across the health system
  • An infrastructure spend of $14.688 billion in 2021-22, with 61.2 per cent of that supporting 29,800 jobs in regions outside greater Brisbane
  • $16.8 billion to improve education outcomes for students and teachers
  • A $1.9 billion commitment over four years towards social housing, and the establishment of a $1 billion Housing Investment Fund to help boost supply

The multibillion Queensland Jobs Fund will be complemented by a $460 million investment in skills and training to address labour shortages and continue driving down Queensland unemployment.

“Since the depths of COVID in May 2020, Queensland has recovered 253,200 jobs,” Mr Dick said.

“There are more Queenslanders in work now than before the pandemic hit, which is an incredible achievement and one few jurisdictions in the world can claim.”

More than $6 billion will help Queenslanders through a wide range of concessions, and there will be no new or increased taxes introduced.

“This was a promise we made to Queenslanders ahead of the last election, and we’re a government that keeps its promises,” Mr Dick said.

Almost a billion dollars will see 10 new primary and secondary state schools open in critical growth areas of the state by 2024.

A further $508 million will be spent on state school upgrades, while more than $200 million will maintain statewide access to kindergarten for Queensland children in their final year.

Mr Dick said regional Queensland will receive plenty of crucial infrastructure through the continued funding of successful programs Works for Queensland and Building our Regions.

“And with Queensland on track to secure the 2032 Olympics, we’re making strategic investments to support our bid, which if successful could mean an $8 billion windfall for our state,” he said.

“That includes an additional $189 million to deliver Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3, and of course massive projects like Cross River Rail, which will receive $1.5 billion this financial year.

“We’re also redoubling our investment in Queensland roads, with $27.5 billion allocated over four years that will support 24,000 jobs.

“Meanwhile, close to $300 million will go towards protecting our Great Barrier Reef, a natural wonder recognised around the world.

“This funding will also safeguard the more than 60,000 tourism jobs that rely on our reef.”

The 2021-22 budget shows significant improvement in Queensland’s forecast debt position.

Mr Dick said net debt in 2021-22 is now expected to be $9.69 billion lower than forecast in the 2020-21 budget handed down last December.

“This is a testament to Queensland’s resilience through and recovery from the pandemic,” he said.

“It’s driven by higher revenue, lower expenses, savings identified in our Savings and Debt Plan, and a material increase in the value of the newly established Queensland Future Fund.

“The estimated value of this fund at the end of 2020-21 is forecast to be $7.7 billion, and will grow over the forward estimates.

“All this is only possible because of our response to COVID-19, which is now seen as a benchmark by jurisdictions around the world.”

Mr Dick said the government’s sensible management of expenses means an operating surplus is now predicted for 2024-25.

“There is no doubt about it, Queensland is the place to be,” he said.

“Our health response to the pandemic has positioned us as one of the most attractive destinations on the planet, and our strong economy and this budget is an extension of that positive sentiment.”

To view the 2021-22 Queensland Budget visit budget.qld.gov.au.