Splashing the cash, Dick sails into electoral storm

The seas may be stormy and the sky black but Queensland Deputy Premier Cameron Dick is maintaining a sunny outlook ahead of the state budget.

Jun 11, 2024, updated Jun 11, 2024
Treasurer Cameron Dick has the last best chance to turn around the Miles Government's electoral fortunes when he delivers his fifth budget on Tuesday. (AAP Image/Darren England)

Treasurer Cameron Dick has the last best chance to turn around the Miles Government's electoral fortunes when he delivers his fifth budget on Tuesday. (AAP Image/Darren England)

Dick will hand down his fifth budget as treasurer on Tuesday afternoon, with the government looking to provide cost of living relief ahead of the October election.

The first budget unveiled since Steven Miles took over as premier had been described as “difficult”, with state debt expected to grow to $188 billion in four years.

However, Dick was staying positive as the government looked to steer Queensland through troubled waters and earn another term.

“We will be focusing on the thing that matters the most to Queenslanders – and that is cost-of-living relief,” he said on Monday.

“We aren’t through the rough waters yet. The seas are still storming and the skies are still dark with so much happening, particularly the impact of inflation and cost of living pressures on Queenslanders.

“Queenslanders need a firm hand on the till, they need people who can get them through these difficult times.”

With hours to go, the government flagged plans to freeze government fees and charges – including the cost of driver’s licenses – at a cost of $180 million in 2024/25.

This is in addition to a raft of measures designed to provide relief for Queenslanders following last year’s $8.224 billion worth of cost-of-living concessions.

Progressive coal royalties have propped up government coffers since their introduction in 2022 and will support economic relief in Tuesday’s budget.

All households will receive $1000 towards their energy bills from the state government next financial year with the commonwealth chipping in a further $300.

Free kindergarten starts in 2024, public transport fares will be slashed to 50c from August 5, car registration costs will be docked by 20 per cent and children sports vouchers will increase from $150 to $200.

The government will also increase the threshold for the first-home owner concession on stamp duty with about 10,000 buyers a year expected to benefit.

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The concession on transfer duty will increase from $500,000 to $700,000, then phasing out up to values of $800,000.

It will also apply to the first-home vacant land concession threshold, increasing from $250,000 to $350,000, with the concession then phasing out up to values of $500,000.

There will also be a massive spend in renewables.

It will ensure $26 billion will be invested into renewable power, storage and transmission projects, with $8.68 billion in the next financial year alone.

In other budget news, the government will allocate $37 million over four years towards combating occupational violence, particularly in health care.

The government said $36 million would go toward increasing the number of security positions to 70 full-time equivalent across the state’s hospital and health services.

The government will also install CCTV in all high-risk areas and provide personal duress alarms for staff in high-risk areas and body-worn cameras for all security staff.

“There will be better days ahead for Queenslanders but for the time being we are absolutely focused on doing what we need to do for them – to help them at a time of difficulty and that’s what the budget will be about,” Dick said.

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