What will Gympie get from Budget?
QUEENSLAND Treasurer Andrew Fraser spent $42.35 billion yesterday, just under $2 billion more than the state expects to receive in revenue.
But how much of the largesse is intended for the Gympie Region and how much of it has not been announced before remain significant questions.
What is certain is that we will all pay our share of the increased debt implied by the figures, with borrowing of $62.827 billion, rising to $83.545 billion by 2013/14.
Community leaders in politics and business yesterday willingly confessed to needing more time to assess the big spending announcements made in Parliament yesterday afternoon.
Mayor Ron Dyne said the budget included major spending in areas important to Gympie.
“There's fairly substantial spending identified for health and education, but we need to assess how much of that will be spent in Gympie,” he said.
“There's $288 million for the Bruce Highway between Cooroy and Curra, but that is in part with Commonwealth funding and it looks a lot like what was announced last year.”
State MP David Gibson described it as “a budget full of spin as far as I can tell.
“Many of the announcements have been made already. A lot of it is not new money.
“The Tin Can Bay kindergarten – they've spending $500,000, but they've started that already and they're not going to stop the project now.
“The Gympie West State School gets some money, $482,000, but they've already spent $48,000 and it's underway, so it's not really a new announcement.
“What I can see that is positive includes $4.7 million to improve electricity supplies between Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach.
“That's Energex investing back and that's good to see.
“There's $10.3 million for a new substation at Pomona.
“I'm a bit concerned that Energex had $15 million allocated last year for a new substation in Gympie, but it seems to have dropped off this year's budget.
“I don't think they've scrapped the project, but maybe they've pushed it out beyond next year.
“It's not shown as a line item for this year though.
“On Cooroy to Curra, last year they budgeted $236 million by June 30 and they've only spent $133 million, so although the cost doesn't seem to have gone up, the time line has blown out.
“The money for the Bruce Highway in our area is a carry over from last year.
“Vehicle registration has gone up, but they announce that compulsory third party insurance has gone down.
“We know electricity is going up 13 per cent and we know there is also going to be a waste tax for commercial interests, which will flow on to households.
“Our debt is headed upwards , we've lost our AAA credit rating and we've become the most expensive state in which to drive a vehicle,” he said.
Gympie Chamber of Commerce president Simon Young said it was all still unclear, particularly as far as its effects on business.
“There's money we knew about, for sewerage treatment, Alford Park, roadworks, bus stops...
“While there are some items for Gympie, it's not clear what effect they will have on business or jobs.”