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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for State Development and Trade
    The Honourable Andrew Fraser

    Bligh Govt returns to surplus one year early

    Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for State Development and Trade
    The Honourable Andrew Fraser

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    Bligh Govt returns to surplus one year early

    Deputy Premier and Treasurer Andrew Fraser has declared Queensland is on track to return the Budget to surplus a year ahead of schedule.

    In handing down the Mid Year Fiscal and Economic Review today, Mr Fraser said that despite the continued fall-out from the European crisis on global economic conditions and the impact of the natural disasters, Treasury have forecast a surplus of $60 million in 2014-15, one year ahead of the original target of 2015-16.

    “Under the proven leadership of Anna Bligh, we put in place a plan to return the Budget to surplus – and we are sticking to that plan,” Mr Fraser said.

    “The most responsible thing a Government can do at this point in time, with global conditions uncertain, is to balance the books as a buffer against future shocks.

    “By returning to surplus one year early in 2014-15, we send a clear message that Queensland’s finances are strengthening and that we as a state have the capacity to make the choices needed – as we’ve already proven over the last few years.

    “The Bligh Government delivered jobs during the global financial crisis, we are delivering a massive recovery and reconstruction effort after the natural disasters, and now we’re delivering a surplus one year ahead of schedule.

    “This Budget update demonstrates we are prepared to make the right choices to strengthen the state’s finances and guide our state through the latest global economic turmoil.”

    Mr Fraser said the improvement in the state’s bottom line is forecast to be achieved despite key revenue shocks and an increase in estimated costs for the 2011 floods and Cyclone Yasi reconstruction effort of $213 million, due primarily to ongoing reconstruction applications from councils.

    “We made a commitment, along with the Federal Government, to do what was needed to get Queensland back on its feet and that process is ongoing.

    “Total expenditure on the 2011 natural disasters is now estimated to be $7 billion. Already, works totalling more than $2.7 billion have been completed or are underway.

    “Payments from the Federal Government to the state will continue to be made across the forward estimates, impacting on the state’s financial position.”

    Key changes to revenue forecasts over the forward estimates include:

    1.Transfer Duty - down by $1.148 billion

    2.GST - down by $544 million

    3.Payroll - up $1.048 billion

    4.Coal Royalties - down $406 million

    The overall tax and royalty write-down is $1.144 billion.

    Mr Fraser said several government decisions have been made delivering $737 million to the bottom line over the forward estimates.

    “With the uncertainty all government’s face thanks to the sovereign debt crisis in Europe and the US, we have had to make tough decisions to keep our finances in check.

    “In the current climate, similar decisions have been made by every state government – New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia all made significant revenue and expenditure decisions in their mid-year reviews.”

    Key decisions include:

    -The deferral of the new Police Academy at Wacol

    -Increase in the target of the Voluntary Separation Payment program by 1,500 non-frontline staff

    -Introduction of competitive bidding for exploration permits

    -Application of duty for the transfer (not issue) of exploration permits

    -Deferral of abolition of duty on transfer of core business assets

    Media contact: 3224 5982