ANALYSIS: The Budget elephant in the room for Palaszczuk
QUEENSLAND has traditionally lagged the other states in technology and modern values updates, while Australia lags the rest of the world.
The elephant in the room of the Palaszczuk Government Queensland Budget is climate change and the individual proposals are but band-aids over gaping fissures in the surface of the changing climate.
Regional Queensland, our lifeblood, is hurting because of a prolonged drought over 84% of the country, and a rise in mining-based unemployment.
The core of the budget is marketed as being about jobs, yet we know that the 25,000+ jobs created through infrastructure investment are not high-skilled jobs, and most will be in urban areas.
Of the 8,000 jobs hoped to be created through the Regional Back to Work scheme ($15,000 grant provided to businesses who hire long term unemployed job seekers), how many will be affected by shrinking regional economies as the effects of climate change become more common and widespread?
The proposal for marketing Queensland as a destination to Asia has potential wide ranging and long lasting social benefits, as micro and small businesses are arguably among those most well placed to benefit from rising tourist numbers.
However, whether the investment in trade offices in Singapore and China as well as $100million in Great Barrier Reef investment will trickle down to those in regional tourist areas is another matter entirely.
Regional Queensland provides the foundation of food security, diversified tourism offerings, and innovations in drought-resistant farming techniques, and this budget attempts to ensure these societies are better off in years to come.