Government | Regulation

NEWMAN: Good government before good politics

Job cuts don’t make for good politics, but we place the notion of good government well ahead of good politics, Premier of Queensland, Campbell Newman told a CEDA audience in Queensland.


Job cuts don't make for good politics, but we place the notion of good government well ahead of good politics, Premier of Queensland, Campbell Newman told the 2012 State of the State forum in Queensland.

The Queensland Government will be "the most efficient, modern and service-oriented Government in Australia," he said.

"We've made the hard calls and taken the bold steps to put Queensland on the road to recovery and future prosperity."

In his first State of the State address Mr Newman outlined:

  • The governments four pillar economic strategy, with renewed focus on developing the State's strengths in tourism, agriculture, resources and construction;
  • Key highlights of the 2012-2013 budget, including a $20 million investment in tourism; and
  • Plans to promote business investment in Queensland interstate and overseas, including India and the United Arab Emirates.

When asked how he sees the Queensland Government's relationship with the Federal Government, he said they want to work cooperatively.

"We don't spend our days thinking about politics and throwing rocks, what we think about is how to make things happen," he said.

"We want to do a whole range of things to move this State forward and all we're simply asking from the Federal Government is for them to work with us."

On the mining royalties, Mr Newman said the scheme was very targeted and "was designed so that as coal prices were higher, the people of Queensland got a greater share".

"Yes, we've made the increase but we're (also) doing what the industry wanted, and that was to give a statement that we're not going to fiddle with this again for 10 years," he said.

"The industry has been held back by bureaucracy and red tape, both for approvals and for the operation of existing mines."

"There's a whole list of things we're taking on board…to make it more cost effective to run their (coal mines) operations, and we intend to take that burden off their back."

Mr Newman said the Queensland Government will return business certainty for the State with a minimum 20 per cent less red tape, and improved planning and project approval systems.

He also said there has also been an anti-PPP (public private partnerships) sentiment in the Queensland Government for years which needs to be broken.

"There has not been the sort of PPP opportunities for the private sector that we've seen in other states," he said.

When asked of Clive Palmers suggestion that the payroll tax be abolished in Queensland to attract investment and create jobs, Mr Newman said it's "clearly not possible" because payroll tax raises $3.7 billion per year out of the $48 billion raised in taxes each year in Queensland.

"We have the best deal in terms of that tax, of any State in the nation."

The Government's commitment to raise the payroll tax threshold to $1.2 million next year and $1.3m the year after should continue to provide extra tax relief, he said.

In regards to suggestions from NSW Premier, Barry O'Farrell that the GST should be raised to assist struggling states like Queensland, Mr Newman said it's obvious extra money raised from increasing the GST would help but Governments have to "stop asking people to pay more".

"Obviously if you raise taxes you've got more money but…we think people have paid enough," he said.

People are struggling to pay their bills and that's why we're saying no to runaway spending and no to an approach of the "unfair jack-up of taxes," he said.

On the future of some industries in the State, Mr Newman predicted the construction and property sector would pick up and start moving in the next 18 months and increased investment and production would be seen in agriculture with commodity prices increasing.