14 June, 2011

Queensland Budget - Environment Highlights & building back better...

There's a sense of de ja vu and a great deal of hypocrisy from one level of Government to the next, particularly from the various leaders of the opposition (or Loos as Jess Rudd would call them) &/or their facsimiles.

Last week, the substitute Lord Mayor released his budget for Brisbane...having been given a hospital pass (& a Tunnel Vision) by the former Lord Mayor.

Today I received a message from the Candidate for the seat of Ashgrove, which started out:

Today we have seen an embarrassing budget handed down that provides no relief for families across the state.

It’s a budget that sees an explosion of debt, up to $85 billion in three years time, which will see interest repayments of $100 million a week. That’s $595,000 an hour, each and every hour!

This money is coming from our pockets and driving up the cost of living.

One could use exactly the same words and substitute the numbers to describe the budget for Brisbane City Council, handed down by Captain Quirk. My children will still be paying off the debt on the latest Tunnel from Toowong to Kelvin Grove (also known as the Legacy of Debt).

Last Month I was trawling (or trolling) through the Federal Budget looking for some good news for the Environment and/or the planet.

Today it was the Qld Government's turn to spruik its budget.

I have mixed feelings about privatisation. I suspect the core business of Governments is regulation, rather than asset management. Perhaps divesting Qld of vested interests in the coal industry is a good thing....

The forests were another story.....A story that the mainstream media did not tell....

According to their 2008/2009 annual report, Forestry Plantations Qld had net assets of $1.14b (not including State-owned land).

On the 18 May 2010, the Qld Government signed the deal to sell these assets to a US-based multinational company for $603m, including 35,000 ha of freehold land and a 99 year lease on Qld's State forests. The standing biological assets (plantation trees) were valued at $1.17b alone (there was about $222m of outstanding liabilities).

.....Back to the Future? Have a listen to Kate Jones talking up A greener Queensland

Rebuilding Queensland better than ever

Following Queensland's summer of natural disasters, $6.8 billion in State and federal disaster funding will be provided in 2011-12, including $2.9 billion on roads, $2.75 billion for local governments and $656 million for small business, non-profit organisations and primary producers.

For more information, read Rebuilding Queensland after the natural disasters of the summer of 2010-11 and view the Premier's media release.

I need to have a closer look at how the money is raised and how the money is spent....

I was surprised how little Qld gets from royalties (in the scheme of things) & wonder how much of that is spent on economic services to the mining industry. I need to do more research.

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