Queensland has always punched above her weight, but complacency, plus new national and international challenges, mean she is in danger of being knocked out of the ring, losing the services and benefits her residents take for granted. But there are plenty of things she can do to get back into shape, almost too many. Our 10 points (PDF 5.5mb) slim the recovery plan down to a small number of actions that will make a large difference.
2017 is probably an election year. This is the time to put pressure on our politicians to adopt and advocate policies that will put Queensland back on top.
Unemployment is stubbornly high; government finances are a mess with increasing debt and brittle revenue; productivity growth is stagnant (even negative in the public service); sovereign risk has increased; electricity has become some of the most expensive and least reliable in the world; students are less prepared than ever for the world and work; and health is a challenge with an aging population.
The world has not been sitting still. The markets for what we produce are good, but we are at risk of becoming a second-best destination for investment. Supply chains are more global, which coupled with the Internet, means that countries, businesses and citizens need to be even sharper to earn above average wages.
Added to that the election of Donald Trump appears likely to set off a tax war; Australia is not a leading provider of intellectual capital; and it has a tax structure that is no longer fit for purpose.
Time to get the state fighting fit
It’s not possible to tackle everything at once. We’ve distilled a list of over 70 great policy ideas down into 10 big ones which we think could be implemented immediately.
These are 10 ideas that will make Queensland fiscally stronger, more attractive to business and residents, educating its residents and maintaining their welfare, and becoming globally more competitive. They are a mix of ideas that look after the whole of the body politic, not just the economy, because outstanding performance comes from a combination of effort, thought and culture, and there is no point having a wealthy society if it is not happy and healthy.
Ten Big Ideas
- New baseload power station
- Defang “lawfare” in mining industry
- Rebate total Queensland GST to Queensland and abolish CGC
- Asset recycling program to rejuvenate constipated transport infrastructure
- Give employees their choice of workplace representative
- Fund students, not schools
- Guarantee maximum wait times in public hospitals
- Benchmark senior public service pay to Prime Minister’s
- Institute Citizen Initiated Referenda
- Stocktake of areas lost to commercial fishing
Read the whole document Ten Big Ideas (PDF 5.5mb)