Health, education and regional Qld the focus of State Budget
A NEW $147 million in today's State Budget will be pumped into helping hospitals catch up on maintenance, with regional Queensland to be made a priority.
The funds will be provided over four years, with another $180 million pulled from internal budgets to bring the total maintenance spending to $327 million.
It could be one of only a few cash splashes made by Treasurer Tim Nicholls on Tuesday, following his warning on the eve of budget day.
He said government revenue had fallen with weaker coal prices and GST payments from the Commonwealth were down.
There would be a focus on law and order, health, education, disability and the regions, which will form a "substantial spending program", he said.
"I think this year's task has been a little easier than last year's - we're a year longer into the job," he said.
"In a sense, it has been easier thanks to the steps we took last year."
Mr Nicholls said the coming 12 months would be a continuation of its plan to cut Queensland's debt.
The speed at which the state was borrowing money had begin to slow and was to plateau by the end of the 2014-15 financial year.
The debt itself will not be addressed until the government makes a decision privatising state-owner corporations after the next state election.
There would be no further cuts to the public service, according to the Treasurer, with the government now content with relying on natural attrition to thin the herd of government staff.
For the Opposition, this would be "a budget of broken promises" with leader Annastacia Palaszczuk criticising Premier Campbell Newman for failing to keep costs of living down - one of the LNP's key election planks.
Mr Nicholls said programs installed to ease the burden on Queensland's hip pocket would remain, including the freeze on car registration and cutting the increase to public transport fares by half.
BUDGET SO FAR
- $327m for hospital maintenance
- $124m to fix problems of health payroll
- $535m for "Great Teachers - Great Results"
- $25.8m spend on national parks, $6.3 million for visitor access
- $11.2m drought relief for graziers
- $2m of savings from Queensland Health
- $9m for dementia research
- $5.8m to unclog waiting list for cochlear implants