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Monday, 2 June 2003
Page: 15576


Ms GAMBARO (1:49 PM) —Tomorrow the Queensland government will hand down its third consecutive budget. Despite proclaiming last June that this year there would be a surplus of $23 million, the figure has been revised to a deficit of $741 million. We have been promised no increases in taxes beyond CPI increases in tomorrow's budget. This is despite the $88 ambulance levy—dismissed by the Queensland Treasurer as a levy not a tax—from 1 July. The Queensland Property Council states that the Queensland government will secure $1.2 billion alone in stamp duty—$300 million above its own estimate.

Tomorrow's state budget will be the third consecutive budget deficit under Premier Beattie. Yet from 2000-01 to 2003-04 the Queensland government will receive increases of over $1 billion in untied funding from the federal government. In Queensland, hospital waiting lists grow while the actual number of patients declines. The government name health as a priority issue and yet they reject the $8 billion under the Commonwealth-state health agreement. People want more teachers in the classrooms and they want more policemen on the beat, but in the last two years only 1,302 full-time equivalent jobs in the public sector out of 6,043 have been for teachers, police officers and nurses. It appears in Queensland you can be sure of two things: budget deficits and cuts.