Queensland maintains credit rating despite govt spending
RATINGS agency Mood's has confirmed Queensland's Aa1 crediting rating with a forecast economic growth rate of 3.5% - the best in the nation.
Treasurer Curtis Pitt said Moody's had recognised the significant balance sheet reform initiatives undertaken by the Palaszczuk Government over the last two State Budgets.
"While Queensland's fiscal performance has improved due to the discipline of our Government, the fact remains that we are still on a negative outlook that was applied after the LNP's first Budget under now Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls," Mr Pitt said in a statement on Friday.
"Despite some tough domestic and international economic conditions, confidence and growth are rebounding in Queensland under our economic plan.
"An additional 41,500 jobs have been created in Queensland since January 2015.
"This year we've seen Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory all downgraded by Moody's. New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT have all had their rating outlook changed from stable to negative by Standard and Poor's.
Mr Pitt said the Moody's Report did note the government's additional expenditure, to restore frontline services.
"This has been necessary in order to restore frontline services to Queenslanders which were put in an untenable position by the cuts to jobs and services under the LNP," Mr Pitt said.
"Our initiatives are fully funded and factored into both our short-term and long-term plans, with 86 per cent of growth in FTEs being in frontline roles.
"Furthermore, we've introduced an additional fiscal principle for the management of growth in the public service to ensure overall growth in full-time equivalent employees does not exceed population growth.
"Moody's also noted that the State's economic prospects remain enhanced by growth in the agricultural, education and tourism sectors, which are benefitting from the lower Australian dollar and lower interest rates.
"However, risks remain over the transition from high levels of mining investment to more service-oriented growth.
"The Palaszczuk Government is aware of these challenges of the transition from the mining boom and the positive recent economic reports from the National Australia Bank, Westpac, CCIQ and Sensis are testament to the fact that we are up to the challenge."
Queensland was unique among Australian states with substantial financial holdings that are more than sufficient to fully fund its superannuation obligations.
The report also notes that the funds, managed by the Queensland Investment Corporation, amount to AUD36.3 billion, including AUD28.9 billion to offset superannuation liabilities, putting their position in surplus.