Date posted: 17/06/2021 5 min read

QLD Budget 2021-22 Overview

The Queensland Government’s 2021-22 Budget focuses on protecting Queenslanders’ health, creating jobs and working together.

In Brief

  • Queensland’s economic recovery has begun sooner than expected
  • The budget invests $52.2 billion in infrastructure over the next 4 years
  • Record health investment totalling $22.2 billion

The QLD Budget delivered on 15 June by Treasurer Cameron Dick shows QLD’s economic recovery from the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic has begun sooner than expected and is stronger than the rest of Australia, with the economy (GSP) estimated to grow by 2.75% in 2021-22. The population is expected to grow by 1% in 2021-22 and strengthen as international travel restrictions ease.

Total employment increased by 253,200 jobs since May 2020, exceeding its pre-pandemic levels. Employment is estimated to grow by 3% with an unemployment rate of 5.75% forecast for June 2022.

In line with improving economic conditions, revenue is estimated to increase by $3.268 billion to $63.664 billion in 2021-22. The increase reflects the rebound in QLD and national activity which has boosted taxation revenue to $17.399 billion and royalties and land rents to $3.341 billion. GST revenue is also expected to increase to $15.616 billion in 2021-22, largely driven by a significant improvement in the national GST pool and increased QLD share.

The Budget includes $14.7 billion in infrastructure investment to create 46,500 ongoing jobs ($52.2 billion over 4 years), with 61.2% allocated to projects outside of Greater Brisbane. There is a record health investment of $22.2 billion to provide a world-class health system that is also critical to effectively manage ongoing COVID-19 risks.

The Budget forecasts a deficit of $3.5 billion in 2021-22, with the state predicted to return to a $153 million surplus by 2024-25. Net debt is estimated to rise to $24.7 billion in 2021-22, reaching $42.6 billion in 2024-25.

The Budget focuses on 6 recovery priority areas: safeguarding Queenslanders’ health, backing small business, making it for Queensland, building Queensland, growing Queensland regions, and investing in skills. The government’s community objectives include supporting jobs, backing frontline services and protecting the environment.

1. Health

Health services receives over $22.237 billion which includes establishing a $2 billion Hospital Building Fund to meet growth pressures across the health system, and new investments of $482.5 million for emergency patient flow in public hospitals and elective surgery waitlists.

The government has invested an extra $480 million to support its COVID-19 health response, including contact tracing and testing capability, vaccination, compliance activities, facilitation of quarantine accommodation and COVID-19 contact centres.

2. Small business

The Budget supports the government’s small business strategy with $140 million provided to support business recovery, increase skills, drive job growth and support local and regional economies and communities.

An additional $140 million has been provided over 4 years to support businesses that employ Queenslanders facing disadvantages in the labour market.

3. Productivity

The government has established the new Office of Productivity and Red Tape Reduction to reduce red tape, boost productivity and regulatory reform. 

The government aims to reduce the cost of retail electricity prices for households and businesses by investing $2.2 billion in energy generation.

4. Infrastructure

The Budget invests $14.688 billion in infrastructure projects to create jobs in the short term and support economic growth in the long term, and improve regional connectivity. Highlights include transformative transport infrastructure, satellite hospitals, new schools and facilities, energy and water assets, and new social housing.

Significant projects include continuing construction work on the Cross River Rail, upgrading the M1 Pacific Motorway, Bruce Highway and inland freight routes.

5. Regional Queensland

The government’s regional focus includes boosting region’s physical, digital and social connection with the rest of Queensland and beyond. Highlights include $200 million for maintenance and minor infrastructure projects, $121.4 million over 4 years for drought assistance and preparedness and $7.5 million to attract workers.

6. Education and skills

The Budget provides increased funding of $1.4 billion for new schools to open in 2023 and 2024, and additional and renewed infrastructure in existing state schools.

Skills and training receives a $100.5 million matching investment for the national JobTrainer Fund, extension of the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program, a revitalized Back to Work program, and extension of the 50% payroll tax rebate for apprentices and trainees to 30 June 2022.

7. Job creation

New initiatives from the $3.34 billion Queensland Jobs Fund includes a $2 billion boost for investment by government-owned corporations in commercial renewable energy and hydrogen projects. Small to medium-sized enterprises and research institutes received $350 million of tailored support via the Industry Partnership Program.

8. Frontline services

The Budget has provided $1.908 billion over 4 years toward social housing and homelessness services. There is additional funding of $61.7 million for arts infrastructure, $11 million to enhance the government’s cyber security, $10.8 million over 4 years for natural disaster responses and $7.7 million over 4 years for drug and alcohol treatment for young people.

9. Environment

The Budget includes several initiatives to support environmental sustainability and to leverage Queensland’s natural assets. Focus areas include an additional $162.9 over 5 years for the Queensland Reef Water Quality Program, $93.6 million over 4 years for the Queensland waste management strategy, $61 million for environmental and investment initiatives, $500 million for the Carbon Reduction Investment Fund and $9.6 million for vegetation change mapping and assessment.

10. COVID-19 economic support 

The government will provide $6.148 billion of concessions to support individuals, families and business that reduce the cost of living or of doing business. This includes targeted discounts, rebates, subsidies, reduced prices on transport, electricity and water services. 

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