The federal budget is a “hoax” and a dud for Queensland, and is all about getting the Turnbull government re-elected, the state’s treasurer says.
The motoring group RACQ has also savaged what it called a “smoke and mirrors” budget, saying road and rail spending is actually $400 million down on last year.
Treasurer Jackie Trad described Scott Morrison’s pre-election budget was a bitter disappointment, with most of the $5.2 billion for infrastructure projects across the state announced before.
“It’s actually a hoax, I think,” Ms Trad told ABC radio on Wednesday.
She says the budget failed to reflect the extra cash Queensland had pumped into federal coffers by creating 30 per cent of the nation’s new jobs over the past year.
“That means more income tax for the government … and what we’re seeing is crumbs in return.”
Ms Trad said Canberra had steadfastly refused to fund Brisbane’s Cross River Rail project, and there wasn’t a cent for another nation-building project – the channel-widening project at the port of Townsville.
She said more money for mental health and doctors in regional was welcome, but low and middle income earners wouldn’t see relief for five to seven years.
“What this depends on is the re-election of the Turnbull government and that’s exactly what this budget is about.”
The RACQ said Queensland had been fleeced out of hundreds of millions of dollars in road and rail investment.
“It’s actually down for road and rail projects about $400 million from last year,” RACQ’s head of public policy Rebecca Michael has told ABC radio.
“And the real kicker is that of that budget last year, the government actually under-delivered by 20 per cent, so the situation is even worse.”
While spending on projects such as the Bruce Highway and M1 upgrades were welcome, the money was needed right now, not down the track.
The Queensland opposition labelled state Labor’s reaction to the budget “unhinged”.
“(The) $5.2 billion in infrastructure projects for Queensland is second only to Victoria and three times more than what New South Wales is receiving,” Liberal National Party leader Deb Frecklington said in a statement.
“It shows (Premier) Annastacia Palaszczuk’s only mission is to serve Bill Shorten and not Queensland.”