‘Not now’: Dick refuses to tackle key question


Cameron Dick has refused to name his own government's fiscal principles, despite claiming to know them and saying the government was committed to them.

The Queensland Treasurer kicked off a "cuts express" bus tour on Monday, which will travel to about 80 electorates as part of Labor's attack against LNP leader Deb Frecklington.

Mr Dick hit out at Ms Frecklington's fiscal principles as he failed to list the government's, saying: "No, I'm not going to do that now, because I'm not worried about our fiscal principles."

The government has six fiscal principle targets, including keeping public service growth in line with population growth and to target ongoing reductions in the state's relative debt burden.

Treasurer Cameron Dick. Picture: John Gass
Treasurer Cameron Dick. Picture: John Gass

"One of the most critical fiscal principles that they (the LNP) have articulated in this campaign is keeping expenditure below revenue," Mr Dick said.

"We know revenue has been smashed and … I would really ask you to put that principle to Deb Frecklington.

"I know you're very keen to come to these press conferences and ask me. But what you need to ask Deb Frecklington is how does she deliver on that fiscal principle."

Asked if he did not know the government's fiscal principles, Mr Dick said: "Yes I do, but I'm not going to get into the game now with you."

He said the government was committed to the fiscal principles because they were in the Budget, they remained in the Budget and "that's our position at this time".

Adept Economics director Gene Tunny has cast doubt over how the government will achieve its public sector growth target, particularly as population growth stagnates amid the pandemic.

"It's definitely going to be difficult to maintain," Mr Tunny said.

"They're taking on a lot of new public servants and there are all these promises to take on more police, and they're going to invest in education and training and health.

"And so we're going to end up with many more public servants."

Treasurer Cameron Dick with the “cuts express” bus. Picture, John Gass
Treasurer Cameron Dick with the “cuts express” bus. Picture, John Gass

Mr Tunny said he expected the debt to revenue ratio would also likely climb over the next few years, before possibly dipping in 2023-24.

The two year average of full time equivalent public service employee growth is expected to be 2.2 per cent, while population growth is forecast to be 1.25 per cent.

Mr Dick called on the LNP to release their "cuts" as early voting booths opened across the state, with hundreds of thousands of Queenslanders expected to cast their vote before the October 31 election day.

"It's exactly why today we are launching the cuts bus," he said.

About a dozen ministers will board the bus at different stages of its 3,800km tour across the state.



Originally published as 'Not now': Dick refuses to tackle key question