Queensland needs a proper plan for economic recovery

The Australian Institute for Progress has unleashed a billboard campaign calling on the ALP to unveil its plan for economic recovery.

AIP Executive Director Graham Young said the campaign was born out of frustration that the political parties, particularly the ALP, were hiding vital facts from the public.

“Not only has the government failed to deliver a budget, but on September 7, when the Treasurer delivered his Budget Review, he only forecast 12 months forward, rather than the customary 4 years.

“So we commissioned two former treasury officials to update his budget for him.

“This showed that by 2024 total government debt could reach $118 billion, and the capacity to service debt, as well as fund needed services and infrastructure, would be compromised.”

Mr Young said this failure coloured the whole campaign, because without those forecasts the Opposition can’t properly project its own commitments either.

“COVID-19 is behind us, and the task before us is to recover and restore the lives and livelihoods of Queenslanders.

“Yet what we see is a campaign that niggles about the minutiae of border closures, or how many public servants were retrenched by Campbell Newman almost 9 years ago.

“Instead of worrying about 14,000 public servant redundancies, receiving an average severance of $80,000 each, we should be worrying about the 48,600 people who have lost their jobs since Labor came to power in 2015 (28,500 of them this year).

“These people didn’t receive severance pay and will struggle to find employment unless our government moves quickly to fix the economy.”

Mr Young said that the solution was not new taxes, hiring more public servants, or command and control economics throwing cash at pet projects irrespective of return.

“This recession is self-inflicted by government shutting businesses down. The solution is to allow them to open-up, and where businesses have disappeared forever, as unfortunately some have, making room for innovators.”

Mr Young said Queensland had strengths in mining, agriculture, tourism, construction, education and health. It also has abundant, reliable electricity.

What government can do for these industries is to ensure there is sufficient infrastructure, tax and regulation is kept to a minimum, and Queensland workers are able to work on conditions that suit them, and have the flexibility to upskill and retrain, and can easily move to work.

“I’d also add that they need to open-up our borders as quickly as possible and encourage workers and investors to move to Queensland from moribund states like Victoria.”

The billboard campaign will run in strategic areas of Brisbane between now and election day, and further examples can be seen by clicking here.