MUSTERING FUNDS: Premier Annastasia Palaszczuk at Roma Saleyards, which is receiving $1.8 million in the State Budget for the new multi-purpose facility.
MUSTERING FUNDS: Premier Annastasia Palaszczuk at Roma Saleyards, which is receiving $1.8 million in the State Budget for the new multi-purpose facility. Alexia Austin

How did the Maranoa fare in this week's State Budget?

WINS for education, health and tourism, plus a nasty surprise for local industry, are the stand-out items across the Maranoa in the latest State Budget.

Passed down on Tuesday, this year's Budget was promised to be one "for the regions” but the final numbers aren't quite stacking up for those in the southwest.

In actual fact, the regions laid out by the state's own definition in the Capital Program are Brisbane and Redlands, Logan and Ipswich.

"The State Budget 2019 does not deliver for regional Queenslanders,” Member for Warrego Ann Leahy said.

"A comparison of the Capital Program for the Darling Downs-Maranoa shows infrastructure spending has plummeted by a massive half a billion dollars.”

Across the Maranoa, Roma is set to rake in investment through already-announced projects, including the new $6 million student nurse accommodation, to which the state is contributing $1.5million; the Bigger Big Rig, which will get a $1.23million kick-in; and, most notably, $56.4 million for the new Roma Hospital.

Outside of Roma there is little of note, aside from an increase to the payroll tax- free threshold, expected to benefit about 550 businesses across the broader region.

Adding insult to injury, a big budget sting will hit the local resources industry, with an unprecedented hike in royalty rates.

"Hiking up gas royalty rates to a flat 12.5 per cent will make Queensland the highest-taxing state on the east coast,” Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said.

"By putting up royalty taxes with no warning and no consultation, Treasurer Jackie Trad is selling out the people of regional Queensland - because they are the ones who would be hardest hit by a loss of investment in resources.

"Next financial year the resources sector will pay $5.45 billion to the Palaszczuk Government in royalty taxes.

"The onus is on the Government to make sure that enormous tax revenue is spent fairly and wisely across the state - not resort to bigger tax grabs to fill budget black holes.”

Meanwhile in the agricultural sector, a large question mark hangs over the budget and how it will affect employment, growth and drought resilience.

"There wasn't a single new measure to help farmers during the worst drought in a generation,” Drought Minister David Littleproud said.

Rural advocates are concerned there is no strategy behind the $321.1million contribution to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

"It is clear the Government doesn't understand agriculture or appreciate its importance to the economic, employment and social fabric of Australia,”AgForce chief executive Mike Guerin said.

"It doesn't just need to be adequately funded but also supported by a program to reduce the red and green tape that prevents producers from productively managing their land and actually results in land degradation and other negative environmental outcomes.”


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