Estimates hearings expose extent of frivolous Labor waste

Published Friday, 19 October, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Treasurer and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Tim Nicholls

The true extent of Labor’s excessive and wasteful spending habits has been exposed during two weeks of Budget Estimates Committee Hearings, Treasurer Tim Nicholls said today.

Mr Nicholls said the hearings, which concluded this week, had given Queenslanders a real insight into Labor’s complete and utter misuse of taxpayers’ funds.

“We’ve heard about everything from 1,500 buy-local t-shirts made in Bangladesh to $20,000 garden gnomes, million dollar artworks and special parking bays for non-existent electric cars,” Mr Nicholls said.

“These sorts of initiatives became the hallmark of the former Labor Government and are exactly the reason Queensland is in such a financial mess.

“This illustrates why the Newman Government has had to make so many tough decisions.

“We are determined to reverse Labor’s decline into debt and deficit and to keep the cost of living low without having to increase taxes and charges.”

He said the hearings had also included a number of positive announcements.

“Premier Campbell Newman appointed Ray Stevens as Assistant Minister for e-government to drive the State’s open data revolution, while the Attorney-General announced an expert panel to review the Crime and Misconduct Act,” Mr Nicholls said.

“Only yesterday, Minister for Transport Scott Emerson announced that the under-utilised T2 lanes at one of the busiest sections of the Pacific Motorway would be scrapped, increasing general traffic capacity by 50 per cent.

“We were also able to announce a further $1.5 million in funding for asbestos management and new grants funding for front-line organisations working with sick, injured and orphaned koalas in Queensland.”

Mr Nicholls said the Newman Government was determined to deliver the important services Queensland needs.

“Putting an end to Labor waste means we can redirect funding back into frontline services and get this State’s finances back on track,” he said.

[ENDS] 19 October 2012

Media contact: Treasurer’s office – 3224 6900


Examples of Labor waste highlighted during Budget Estimates:

·         Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney highlighted the 1,500 ‘Buy Local, Back Queensland’ t-shirts that were made in Bangladesh and were sitting in boxes in his Department

·         Energy and Water Supply Minister Mark McArdle highlighted six garden gnomes bought at a cost of $19,440 for an ad campaign, but never used

·         National Parks, Recreation, Sports and Racing Minister Steve Dickson highlighted the hundreds of tickets to sporting events provided to Labor Ministers with no accountability for their use

·         Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts Minister Ros Bates highlighted a $1 million piece of elephant art work for GOMA

·         Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson highlighted the $750,000 Labor spent on 190,000 backpacks, 58,000 of which were still sitting in a warehouse

·         Mr Emerson also highlighted the $43,500 Labor spent to install 24 electric car parks in Adelaide Street without any electric cars to use them