Govt told: Spend up on hospitals, freeze public service pay
HUNDREDS of our readers have taken advantage of the State Government's Strong Choices survey since its launch last week - and directing money to regional health services is a clear priority for many.
The Strong Choices survey is an interactive tool that gives Queenslanders access to the range of information they need to understand the choices available to State Government, and the consequences of those choices, in their push to pay down the state's $80 billion debt.
Our readers are spending more time online completing the survey than those who have chosen to use the Queensland Government's portal.
One of the major trends which has emerged so far is regional Queenslanders want more money spent on hospital upgrades and medical services when they were asked how the government should invest money they could save if they were not required to pay $4 billion annually in interest servicing the debt.
More than half of those who have responded it as the number one priority.
The second most popular response was to invest money into regional road network upgrades, including major arterial roads and bridges.
One of the more surprising trends to have emerged, in response to a question on how state spending could be cut, was a large number of people saying they were in favour of a freeze on public servants' wages for three-years.
It was the most popular cost-saving choice.
However, it remains to be seen whether those who participated in the survey were talking about police, fire or ambulance officers or their elected officials.
"Cancel recent politicians' pay rises and index them to cost of living increases," said one person.
Treasurer Tim Nicholls said the response to the website confirmed that Queenslanders were engaged in the discussion on tackling the $80 billion accumulated debt problem and the $4 billion in interest paid each year.
"It is great to see so many Queenslanders having their say on how to deal with the debt and deficit," he said.
Hundreds have also debated the issue on our Facebook pages, with 80% supporting wage cuts for civil servants, with most people preferring that to asset sales.
"Number one, cut the wages of all politicians and cut their lifelong entitlements. Let them work to 70 and treat them as they treat the working class people," one Facebook user said.
The Strong Choices survey will continue to be available across all our websites until May 19.