4 June 2013

Newman in $3 billion QLD budget disaster funding fudge


Joint media release with 
Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Minister Assisting on Queensland Floods Recovery 

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and Treasurer Tim Nicholls has been caught fudging the numbers in today's State Budget, overstating disaster funding being provided by the Queensland Government by more than $3 billion.

The Queensland Government today released a media release claiming to be spending over $4 billion in 2013-14 alone rebuilding Queensland.

It would be impressive, if it was supported by the facts. The truth is that Queensland will only be spending $620 million on rebuilding Queensland this financial year.

The Queensland Government's own Budget Paper says:

"While the magnitude and widespread nature of the disasters makes it difficult to arrive at a conclusive fiscal impact, the Queensland Reconstruction Authority estimates the cost of the disaster to be $2.5 billion. Under Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements, the Australian Government contributes up to 75 per cent of the funding needed to rebuild and recover. On this basis the cost to the State of this latest disaster is in excess of $620 million."


State Budget 2013-14, Budget measures, Budget paper No. 4

This is contrast to the $5.4 billion the Gillard Government is investing in Queensland from 2012-13 to 2016‑17, funded without a new levy on households.

In fact, the National Partnership Acquittal Report, tabled at April's Ministerial Council, illustrates the Queensland Government has $3.4 billion in unspent funding relating to natural disaster relief.

In addition, the Queensland Government has whitewashed the fact it's increasing the Emergency Management, Fire and Rescue Levy by almost $190 million.

Campbell Newman is slugging households, telling fibs and letting down Queenslanders.

Last budget Premier Newman had a secret plan to abolish the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, leaving the rebuilding of Queensland in the lurch. This year he's covered his lack of investment with bandaids and distractions and is trying to take Queenslanders for a ride.

Rebuilding a state after a natural disaster should be above politics. It's time Campbell Newman started working, stopped the politics and stopping hurting families.