Queensland's Treasurer Curtis Pitt has delivered his second budget against the backdrop of a solidly performing economy.
According to the Treasurer, Queensland is expected to record the strongest economic growth of all states over the forecast period. This is on the back of a surge in exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) after a period in which the sector encountered some difficulties.
A recent EnergyQuest report reflects the more positive outlook for the industry, showing that the state's three major projects - Shell’s QCLNG project, Santos’s GLNG project and Origin Energy Conoco Phillips project - have exported 3.8 million tonnes of gas, more than the whole of Russia and worth approximately $1.7 billion in the March quarter of 2016.
State's gross state product (GSP) is estimated to increase by 3.5% in 2015-16, and 4% in 2016-17.
In a relatively conservative budget, delivering forcast net operating surpluses over the next four years totalling almost $3.5 billion ($845 million in 2016-17), there are some new expenditures targeting the state's innovation performance.
They include an additional $225 million committed for the Advance Queensland innovation scheme, as part of which $40 million are targeted at attracting businesses from interstate and overseas to Queensland.
This is a significant boost of the scheme, which was set up in the previous year's budget with $180 million. With now $405 million at its disposal, the innovation scheme is the state's prime vehicle to support the state's innovator community,through programs including:
Other measures of interest include: