Treasurer accuses PM of holding Queensland ‘to ransom’
Treasurer Cameron Dick has accused Scott Morrison of conducting a "rotten rip-off" of Queenslanders with the Federal Budget's lack of investment and downgraded economic growth set to wreak havoc on the state's financial plans.
Predictions of lower economic growth and the closure of international borders until mid-2022 will force Queensland to reassess its Budget just weeks before it is handed down, Mr Dick revealed.
He pledged to go back to the drawing board to "look very carefully" at how the Federal Budget, released on Tuesday night, will affect Queensland.
Mr Dick said lower than expected economic growth, labour shortages through international border closures and delays in the vaccination rollout would likely affect the state's financial plan.
"We're going to have to work through and start reworking some of our analysis for our budget which is due in a month and look at what the federal government said in their budget," he said.
"The federal government has written down projected economic growth for the country - that's about a $25bn reduction in economic activity in Queensland."
Mr Dick led the State Government's criticism of the Federal Budget, accusing Prime Minister Scott Morrison of a "rotten rip off".
He said the $1.6bn investment in Queensland paled in significance to $3bn each provided to New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia - despite estimates 84,600 people would migrate to Queensland over the next four years.
"Only $807.5 million of that supposed $1.6 billion, barely half of the amount promised, is in this budget," Mr Dick said.
"Scott Morrison is holding Queenslanders to ransom, saying they'd have to vote for him in at least two more elections before we'd see the money he promised."
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk lamented the Commonwealth's lack of investment in the Toowoomba quarantine hub proposal.
"In this ongoing age of COVID there are two things Australia needs; safety and certainty," she said.
"Regional quarantine is our last best hope for both.
"Returning stranded Australians from overseas, plugging the gaps in the labour market, the return of foreign students, the return of international travel - all these problems are solved with regional quarantine."
Ms Palaszczuk welcomed the 50/50 Olympic funding partnership, increased investment in mental health, aged care and women.
Originally published as 'Rotten rip-off': Treasurer accuses PM of holding Qld 'to ransom'