Beattie's 10-point plan for Australia’s recovery
EVERY crisis is an opportunity.
For Queensland this means implementing a long-term economic strategy underpinned by innovation and brain power.
The strategy needs to be aggressive and collaborative with universities, industry, business and unions using business and university brains, experience and know-how to forge the way forward post the coronavirus pandemic.
Ten points to the strategy:
1. The State Government should immediately call a crisis summit at Parliament House of all key economic players in Queensland to agree on a six month recovery plan for the state.
All industries, major national and Queensland companies, universities, unions, the Federal Government, local government, social services, media, and the Opposition should all be invited. It should be bipartisan, urgent, and strategic.
Strategies on the agenda should be:
2. Retooling the Queensland economy now as a key to future economic growth.
This can be done by encouraging investment by companies in equipment using reduced taxes such as land tax, or payroll tax or stamp duty as incentives.
Currently a lack of investment in equipment is a Queensland weakness identified by CommSec in its recent State of the State report.
3. Examine what opportunities exist for developing a manufacturing industry in Queensland particularly in mining services, pharmaceuticals and agriculture.
4. Fast track approval of both public and private infrastructure projects particularly those projects which will stimulate jobs growth.
A careful study should be made of each region in Queensland to ensure projects are delivered in the regions as part of a regional development plan with strict time delivery timetables.
5. Because of the State debt, fast track government projects with money from public/private partnerships (PPPs) particularly in partnership with Australian Superannuation Funds.
6. Ask Queensland financial entities such as QSuper, Sun Super, Suncorp and the Bank of Queensland what is needed to accelerate their investment in housing and infrastructure.
7. Start developing a national "holiday at home" tourism campaign for when domestic travel is allowed again.
Ask companies like Webjet and Flight Centre to start preparing Queensland holiday packages "with a difference" to encourage domestic tourism (when allowed) carefully adapted for social distancing.
8. Focus on innovation as a driver of future growth. Assess how the Government can work more closely with our research universities and industry in mining services, agriculture, biotechnology, IT, renewables, and technology to develop and commercialise the state's brain power to expand the economy.
The University of Queensland research into a vaccine for the coronavirus is a good example of what can be done when governments partner with universities.
9. Have a special strategy for New Zealand since it is likely to be in the "bubble" with Australia. This could cover tourism partnerships, trade, and investment.
10. Work with Qantas and Virgin on an airline strategy for Queensland's new post virus tourism strategy.
Now is the time for preparing for when the state and Australia reopens. That way Queensland could lead Australia on the road to recovery.
The time taken for recovery will depend on the leadership provided by government. If it is strategic the recovery period will be shorter.
Peter Beattie is a former Labor Premier of Queensland
Originally published as Beattie's 10-point plan for Qld to lead Australia's recovery