The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

31 July 2012

Newman's 'reckless' comments must stop

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman's determination to talk down his state's economy for base political purposes is undermining confidence, making life harder for Queensland businesses and has been rejected by the Queensland Commission of Audit member Dr Doug Taggart.

After his comments last week that Queensland was 'bankrupt' and Queensland was the 'Spain of Australia', Mr Newman has today said Queensland's financial situation is 'diabolical'.

Such comments are reckless, disloyal, but also pre-meditated.

They have also been directly disputed by Commission of Audit member Dr McTaggart, who today testified under oath to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission that Queensland's debt is 'manageable', and that he 'disputes' the Premier's assertion that Queensland is borrowing to pay public servants.

This comes on the same day Mr Newman's culled 2300 jobs from the Department of Transport and QBuild.

The facts are clear for all to see. To compare Queensland to Spain would be laughable if it wasn't so potentially damaging to the state's prospects.

  • Queensland's unemployment rate is 5.3%. Spain's hovers at around 25%.
  • Queensland has negative net debt. Spain has net debt of 57% of GDP.
  • A 10 year Queensland Government bond yield is almost half the cost of a similar product from Spain.
  • Queensland has a AA+ credit rating, the same as the United States. Spain is rated one notch above junk status.

There is no doubt that Queensland's economy and its finances were hit hard by the double-whammy of the GFC and Australia's biggest natural disaster.

But businesses expect Mr Newman to support confidence and consumer sentiment, not smash it to pieces.

Mr Newman's campaign to tear down the state economy is simply a bid to justify the mass sackings he told Queenslanders wouldn't happen.