Treasurer and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Tim Nicholls

Federal Labor must commit to Queensland infrastructure

QUEENSLAND Treasurer Tim Nicholls said the Federal Government must invest in Queensland infrastructure if it wants to see improved economic growth nationally and a much-needed boost to business confidence.

Mr Nicholls said today’s Federal Budget needed to include rock-solid commitments for Queensland projects, including a commitment to fund an upgrade of the Bruce Highway and funding for road, rail and port infrastructure.

“This LNP Government made a commitment to put $100 million each year into the upgrade of the Bruce Highway. The Federal Government needs to stop shirking its responsibility and dedicate serious money to improving this critical artery on Australia’s east coast.

“Road, rail and port infrastructure upgrades are crucial to support our resource and agriculture sectors and achieving economic growth in both our state and national economies,” he added.

Mr Nicholls also said speculation that the Federal Government may further cut the diesel fuel rebate would send shockwaves through the Queensland economy.

“Our resource sector is propping up the Australian economy and should not be hit with extra costs just because Federal Labor needs to find extra funds for its dodgy surplus figure.

“It is clear the Australian economy is still suffering from a lack of business confidence and moves to further punish our resources sector will continue to erode that confidence,” he said.

Mr Nicholls said while a number of indicators released today show there are signs for a positive outlook for Queensland’s economy, the Federal Government must do more to encourage confidence.

He noted Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showing a 1.7 per cent rise in dwelling approvals in Queensland in March and an encouraging 3.2 per cent seasonally adjusted rise in real turnover in retail over the March quarter.

However, the latest ANZ Job Advertisement Series data showed the number of job advertisements in Queensland fell 3.1 per cent in April to be 7.2 per cent lower over the year.

“The latest National Australia Bank Monthly Business Survey also showed national business conditions, trading conditions and the profitability index all deteriorated in April,” Mr Nicholls said.

“Clearly the Federal Government needs to do more to boost confidence and one way to guarantee this is to commit to funding upgrades of our key infrastructure to remove choked ports and sub-standard transport links as a priority.

“The LNP government will grow a strong four-pillar economy, cut red tape and payroll tax to ensure businesses can get on with doing business and creating jobs for a stronger Queensland in the future,” he said.

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