QLD Govt declares 'biggest surplus in a decade'
UPDATE: JOBS to support a post resource boom Queensland is the key selling point of the state government's plans to spend its biggest financial surplus in more than a decade.
Much of the $360million in new job and infrastructure funding announced by Queensland's Treasurer Curtis Pitt on Tuesday has been promised to the regional Queensland cities hit hardest by the mining downturn and critically high unemployment rates.
Unveiling the state's Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook in Brisbane, Mr Pitt confirmed "the lions share" of the projected $2billion surplus was fuelled by the very industry the state would soon have to learn to live without.
The sharp increase in coal prices he said, had largely shielded Queensland from the impacts of global economic uncertainty driven by the recent US election, Brexit and the volatile Chinese market.
Conceding the coal price surge was only a short term fix, Mr Pitt insisted the government's plan was based on "sound financial management".
He also said that while Adani's proposed Carmichael mine would attract higher revenues should it go ahead, it had not been factored into the forward estimates.
Asked if he believed the State Government was spending enough to lure disenfranchised voters back ever growing camps of minor political parties like One Nation, Mr Pitt would only say "decisions aren't based on electoral outcomes" and the "ultimate test" for the government would be to spend what it had promised.
"We will be carefully monitoring revenue trends and implications in the lead up to the State Budget next year," Mr Pitt said
"The MYFER outcomes show we are on the right track for nation-leading economic growth and we are making the right investments in job-creating infrastructure and frontline services while recognising the needs of regions doing it tough as we transition to a post-mining boom economy."
More to come.
EARLIER: THRILLED by a boost in coal cash this year, Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt will likely use today's mini-Budget to push the government's plans on tourism, and manufacturing jobs.
The government is expected to announce a two-year program to shield manufacturing jobs with grants ranging from $50,000 to $2.5 million.
The project is understood to cost $20 million over both years.
The government's halfway-mark budget or Mid-year Fiscal and Economic Review will also use the day to unveil a surprise $2 billion surplus forecast for the 2016-17 financial year, thanks to a coal royalties almost doubling since estimates earlier this year.
The LNP Opposition has already taken aim at the government's proposed spending plans, saying it ought to be focusing on cutting debt.
Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls said the government could not simply rely on spikes in coal cash.
"It's simply not good enough for Curtis Pitt to keep spinning the roulette wheel and relying on coal royalties turning up black and giving him money," Mr Nicholls said.
Mr Pitt said the government could afford to spend $1 billion on boosting jobs while keeping pace on reducing debt.
More detail on the mid-year Budget will be unveiled at lunchtime today.