Advertisement

LNP says economic crisis ‘like a natural disaster’ – and plans to treat it that way

A Frecklington government would treat the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn like a natural disaster – dedicating officials to the rebuilding effort.

Aug 19, 2020, updated Aug 19, 2020
Queensland Leader of the Opposition Deb Frecklington and Shadow Education Minister Jarrod Bleijie are seen during a press conference at Parliament House in Brisbane, Friday, July 3, 2020. The member for South Brisbane Jackie Trad had been cleared by the state's corruption watchdog after an investigation into her involvement in the selection of a school principal. (AAP Image/Dan Peled) NO ARCHIVING

Queensland Leader of the Opposition Deb Frecklington and Shadow Education Minister Jarrod Bleijie are seen during a press conference at Parliament House in Brisbane, Friday, July 3, 2020. The member for South Brisbane Jackie Trad had been cleared by the state's corruption watchdog after an investigation into her involvement in the selection of a school principal. (AAP Image/Dan Peled) NO ARCHIVING

Ahead of the October 31 election, LNP leader Deb Frecklington today promised an Economic Recovery Agency, headed by a new Coordinator-General, to put Queensland back on track. The agency will report directly to the premier.

“Coronavirus has dealt Queensland the biggest economic blow in almost a century – greater than any fire, flood or cyclone we’ve ever seen,” Frecklington said.

“A coordinated economic reconstruction is needed to drag Queensland out of recession and create jobs.

“The economic recovery from a bushfire would have started within days, but Labor still has no plan and no Budget months after the coronavirus outbreak began.”

As a priority, the new agency would be tasked with delivering the LNP’s infrastructure promises, including a New Bradfield Scheme, more dams, and $1bn in south-east Queensland roadworks and transport projects. The new Coordinator-General would have a different role to the existing Coordinator-General, who is required to assess and approve major projects.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk immediately dismissed the LNP pledge, describing it as a “new bureaucracy” and emphasising that the government already had $50 billion in infrastructure in the pipeline.

The Labor government did not hand down a budget as planned this year. Treasurer Cameron Dick, who took over from Jackie Trad in the middle of the crisis, will instead give an economic update next month.

LNP Deputy Leader Tim Mander said Queensland went into the pandemic and economic downturn with the worst unemployment rate in Australia and a lack of business confidence.

“No Budget means Labor is flying blind through the biggest economic crisis in almost a century,” Mander said.

InQueensland in your inbox. The best local news every workday at lunch time.
By signing up, you agree to our User Agreement andPrivacy Policy & Cookie Statement. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

In a report this week, the Queensland Productivity Commission warned that the lack of reform over the last decade had limited the ability of states to bounce back from crisis, and that “Queensland has experienced slower productivity growth, under-utilised labour and stagnant (or even falling) living standards for several years”.

According to the commission, returning Queensland to pre-pandemic conditions would not be good enough.

“The latest shock, from the COVID-19 pandemic, has caused widespread economic losses in Queensland,” the report found.

“While significant uncertainty remains, the Commission estimates the economic impacts will continue at least through next year, with effects lingering for many years.

“Beyond the immediate relief effort, policy needs to consider how to transform the Queensland economy to foster stronger productivity growth and increased resilience—a return to pre-crisis economic growth will leave the economy running below its potential, limiting growth in the living standards of Queenslanders.”

The LNP will wait for the government’s economic update to chart its full budget response. Mander has, however, already outlined the LNP’s fiscal principles, including: no new taxes and a 10-year royalty freeze, with the aim of being the lowest taxing government in the nation; targeting fiscal balances across; stabilising and begin repaying debt in order to hopefully regain Queensland’s AAA credit rating.

Local News Matters
Advertisement
Copyright © 2024 InQueensland.
All rights reserved.
Privacy Policy