Environment a key pillar in Queensland Budget
Published Tuesday, 21 June, 2022 at 02:40 PM
Premier and Minister for the Olympics
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs
The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon
Major funding for Queensland’s national parks, the ongoing war on waste and climate action headline the Palaszczuk Government’s environment Budget for 2022-23.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said her government would make the single largest investment ever, $262.5 million, to expand the state’s network of protected areas.
“Queenslanders have made it clear: they want us to continue to act on the environment, and that’s what this budget does,” the Premier said.
“This multimillion dollar investment will go towards creating new national parks and supporting the 17,000 jobs that rely on the tourism our protected areas generate.
Environment and Great Barrier Reef Minister Meaghan Scanlon said Queensland had seen a huge surge in visitation during the pandemic as people rediscovered the joys of what’s in their own backyard.
“It’s part of our great lifestyle, and we want to do everything we can to make the national park visitor experience even better,” Minister Scanlon said.
“This funding will allow us to buy more land and improve visitor infrastructure that will support our nature-based tourism industry, especially with the Olympics just around the corner.
Minister Scanlon said the injection for national parks and protected areas joins ongoing funding announced in last year’s budget like $270.1 million for the Great Barrier Reef, as well as $60 million for round two of the Land Restoration Fund.
It builds on close to $40 million announced earlier this month for the protection of threatened species, including the koala.
As part of the war on waste, Minister Scanlon said $291 million had been allocated in the first tranche of its broader 10-year, $1.1 billion Recycling and Jobs Fund, while $672 million would be provided to councils to ensure no direct cost to households from the waste levy.
“More than nine million tonnes of waste was generated in Queensland last year,” she said.
“While we’ve made great strides in bringing down how much waste we produce, Queenslanders are keen to do more and for our state to become a leader in the fast-emerging circular economy.
“That’s why we’re investing more than a quarter-of-a-billion dollars to supercharge the rollout of recycling infrastructure, and to help regions develop long-term plans to tackle waste.
“Our co-investment with councils and business to build new infrastructure will see three times as many ongoing jobs created as traditional landfill industries.
Together with ongoing investments like the $2 billion Renewable Energy Fund, Minister Scanlon said the budget would also see an additional $32 million allocated towards community-focused climate action.
“More than $10 billion has been invested in Queensland renewables since 2015,” she said.
“That’s driven dozens of major projects like the Macintyre Wind Farm, the country’s largest wind farm.
“But communities want to play their part too, which is why we’re locking in more than $30 million to deliver local emission reduction projects.
“That funding will also help drive better science and modelling so we can seize the opportunities in Queensland to accelerate emissions reduction and more jobs in more industries.
“Together with more renewable energy and this new investment, we’re taking action on climate.”
For more information about the State Budget visit budget.qld.gov.au.
Media contact: Francis Dela Cruz 0420 592 078