Budget doubles as Cameron Dick’s audition for premier job
Budget doubles as Cameron Dick’s audition for premier job

Our next premier? Treasurer’s audition for top job

Cameron Dick has fired the first major salvo in the race to replace Annastacia Palaszczuk and become Queensland's next premier.

The belated 2020 state budget has been moulded to maximise Dick's prospects of landing the job he ultimately wants, not just help deliver the jobs that Queenslanders need.

From moody black and white social media pictures reminiscent of those taken of US presidents to personal stories about the Treasurer's shopkeeper heritage, the budget aims to answer a question that no-one was particularly asking.

Who the hell is Cameron Dick?

Palaszczuk, of course, has only just been re-elected.

She's got records to beat as one of Queensland Labor's longest-serving premiers.

Yet Palaszczuk hasn't committed to recontest in 2024 which has meant the internally jockeying has begun already.

Dick's Right faction, however, doesn't have the numbers.

That honour belongs to the Left, now led by State Development Minister Steven Miles.

 

 

So Dick's mission must be to establish himself as Palaszczuk's natural successor in the eyes of Queenslanders and there are few bigger and beater vehicles than the state budget.

The Government's borrowings are significant but could have been bigger to help Queensland recover faster.

 

Cameron Dick on Budget day. Picture: Twitter
Cameron Dick on Budget day. Picture: Twitter

 

A similar photo of Barack Obama when he was president.
A similar photo of Barack Obama when he was president.

 

But there was a risk this could have earned the ire of rating agencies and Dick doesn't want to be the treasurer who causes another credit downgrade.

The Government should have cut public sector growth, particularly give the wage policy is now way out of whack with inflation and Queensland's population growth has flatlined.

However, while the Government will insist this is because it's focused on the frontline, a fight with Left-wing public sector unions would not have done the Treasurer's aspirations any favours.

This budget certainly achieved its aim of delivering "no surprises".

But that raises the question as to why the Government wouldn't do some heavy lifting at the start of a four-year term.

While the budget does do the job of plotting a path back towards balance, it's also doubles as a blueprint to help the Treasurer fulfil his ambition.

Whatever happens towards the end of this term, Dick aims to make sure Queenslanders know who he is.

 

Originally published as Our next premier? Treasurer's audition for top job