Queensland second-last for infrastructure spending
Queensland's hamstrung budget has resulted in the state ranking second-last for infrastructure spending, according to a new report released overnight.
It comes after Queensland last week was also revealed to be the second worst state for unemployment, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics projecting our joblessness rate was sitting at 7.7 per cent.
The 2020 Australian Infrastructure Budget Monitor ranked only Western Australia worse than the Sunshine State in terms of infrastructure spending as a proportion of total government spending due to a "constrained balance sheet".
The report found that the Palaszczuk Government increased infrastructure spending by 10 per cent in reaction to the coronavirus recession, while other states jacked up spending on roads and rail by up to 45 per cent.
NSW and Victoria were planning to spend $84bn and $70bn on infrastructure over the next four years, compared with just $35bn in Queensland.
The report did not include spending made by government-owned corporations.
Infrastructure Partnerships Australia chief executive Adrian Dwyer said other states could spend more after privatising assets in recent years, while Queensland's state government had refused to do so.
"(The Queensland Government) have gone to turn on the infrastructure tap, but the tap just isn't as big as in NSW because they haven't done these reforms," Mr Dwyer said.
Nearly 20 per cent of Victoria and NSW budgets were dedicated to infrastructure, compared to just 12 per cent in Queensland, which Mr Dwyer said was due to "capacity within the budget".
"If you look at places like NSW and Victoria, they've done things like moving things from public ownership to private ownership," he said.
A spokesman for Treasurer Cameron Dick however said Queensland's lack of privatisation meant it and WA would be the only two states with positive growth in 2020.
"Unlike Queensland, southern states have also had to weaken their balance sheets by privatising productive, income-generating assets like electricity generators," he said.
Originally published as Queensland second-last for infrastructure spending