The outlook for the Queensland economy according to the budget documents is positive with Gross State Product growth increasing from 3.5 per cent in 2015-16 to 4 per cent in 2016-17.
The Budget papers indicate that the state’s fiscal position is operating on a surplus of $152 million in 2015-16 and $867 million in 2016-17.
The capital program is $10.7 billion for various infrastructure projects and delivers around 31,000 direct jobs.
Accelerating Advance Queensland
$405 million over five years for Accelerating Advance Queensland for startups, small businesses, tradespeople, and to create jobs. There is new funding for industry accelerators, Regional Innovation Hubs and a Platform Technology Program. It will include a 10-year Roadmap for Queensland’s Biofutures industry and a Biofutures Industry Development Fund designed to enable new proposal to complete due diligence and progress to financial close.
Back to Work Regional Employment Strategy
The Back to Work – Regional Employment Package is a total of $100 million over the two financial years 2016-17 and 2017-18. It comprises:
$80 million for support payments for employers to take on regional jobseekers, including those disadvantaged in the labour market, such as the long-term unemployed, young people, mature aged jobseekers, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders;
$10 million for the Certificate 3 Guarantee Boost Program that will see more Queenslanders able to access subsidised courses to obtain jobs; and
$10 million for Back to Work officers who know the local economy and local employers, and can connect employers and jobseekers to opportunities and support, including through Regional Employment Networks.
The details include:
Regional employers who hire an eligible unemployed person will get a $10,000 payment under this initiative AND will rise to $15,000 for the long-term unemployed who have been out of work for 12 months or more.
Apprentices and trainees are counted as eligible employees under the scheme, provided their employer is not eligible for the Government’s payroll tax rebate.
Eligible employees will also have access to job readiness payments to help them start a new job. This may include training, purchasing new equipment and uniforms or gaining or renewing trade licenses.
Back to Work officers will work across the following regions: Outback, Far North, Townsville, Wide Bay, Fitzroy, Mackay, and South West Queensland.
The South East Queensland region is not eligible for funding under the scheme in recognition of the unique employment challenges facing regional Queensland.
It will come into effect from July 1 2016 and more details will be announced shortly.
Advancing Small Business Queensland Strategy (part of the $405 m Advance Queensland)
Investment of $22.7 million in small business over 3 years. This will include:
The Queensland Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow program.
Establishment of an Office Small Business to deliver the Small Business Queensland Strategy to help small business create jobs, drive business growth, harness innovation and build digital capacity. It will advocate for small business at State and Federal Government discussions similar to other jurisdictions.
Creation of a Small Business Knowledge Hub to research key issues impact on Queensland small business.
Through the Queensland Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow Program deliver Digital Capability Grants of up to $10,000, matching dollar-for-dollar contributions by small businesses to help build digital capability. This can include website development, training, social media or adopting new online tools and technologies. These initiatives are designed to help small business increase its digital capabilities; ensure a more coordinated approach to service delivery across the government.
Continuation of the Queensland Small Business Advisory Council and Red Tape Reduction Advisory Council to provide direct input to Government on issues facing the small business sector. The first Queensland Small Business Champion will be established.
Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative
Investing $60 million, of $240 million over four years, to deliver the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative to support up to 8,000 Queenslanders (up to 32,000 over four years) to get back into work.
Reviewing government VET investment arrangements to achieve a more sustainable balance of public and private training provision.
Continuing to implement the Training Ombudsman role to enhance the quality of State-funded VET.
Continuing to allocate 10 per cent of total labour hours on eligible government-funded infrastructure projects to apprentices and trainees
Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning
More than $10.7 billion is forecast to be spent in the next financial year on capital works, with half of that allocated towards regional projects and $50 million to progress the planning and environmental approvals of the Cross River Rail project in Brisbane.
A key initiative within the Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning budget will focus on allocating $4.4 billion for roads, including $400 million for a second Toowoomba Range Crossing and $300 million for projects such as the Ipswich Motorway between Rocklea and Darra and the M1 Gateway merge.
Major infrastructure projects scheduled for 2016-17 and beyond
$4.4 billion for roads, $400 million for second Toowoomba range crossing
$300 million for projects like the Ipswich Motorway between Rocklea and Darra and the M1 Gateway merge.
$250 million on widening Gateway Motorway North to six lanes, between Nudgee and Bracken Ridge
An additional $40 million on top of the $100 million already allocated to build the Townsville stadium
$12 million for new community-managed mental health services to be built in Mackay, Bundaberg and Gladstone delivered through the State Infrastructure plan
Coordinate and monitor the delivery of the $2 billion State Infrastructure Fund
Monitor and report on the delivery of the $180 million Significant Regional Infrastructure Projects Program
Develop and implement a value capture/sharing policy and alternative funding models that leverage investments more effectively.
Motor vehicle registrations and driver’s licence fees increases by 3.5 per cent rise including driver’s licences on 1 July. Revenue from vehicle registration duty is expected to grow by 3.0% in 2016–17. Motor vehicle registration represents 12.8% of total tax revenue and compared with e.g. Land Tax 8.2%. Motor vehicle registration will return $1,677 million in 2016-17.
Vehicle registration duty is charged at rates of between 2% and 4% of the dutiable value of a motor vehicle on the transfer or initial registration of the motor vehicle, with the rate generally depending on the number of cylinders or rotors of the vehicle. Revenue from vehicle registration duty is expected to grow by 3.0% in 2016–17.