Mining royalties will drop because of the damaged Mount Isa to Townsville rail line which will impact the State Budget. Photo: John Andersen
Mining royalties will drop because of the damaged Mount Isa to Townsville rail line which will impact the State Budget. Photo: John Andersen

$1.5b flood repair bill will hit State Budget hard

QUEENSLAND Treasurer Jackie Trad says the North Queensland flood repair bill will have a "big effect" on the state budget.

Ms Trad told Queensland parliament the full impact on the budget was still to be determined.

"It is something that we are very, very focused on," she said.

"Preliminary estimates at this stage have the damages bill at around $1.5 billion, but I do have to caution that this is a very preliminary estimate.

"As we know from other disasters, there is a process of assurance and further refinement around those estimates."

Ms Trad did not answer questions about whether the flood repairs would have an impact on funding potential projects and commitments in this year's budget.

"We need to be patient and let the assessors do their job," she said.

"It is the absolute priority of this government to help people and communities recover and rebuild as quickly as possible.

Ms Trad said the State Government managed its budget responsibly to make sure it was always able to be there for Queenslanders in their time of need.

"We expect that the Federal Government will be making a substantial contribution to the recovery in their budget," she said.

The State Budget will be handed down in June this year.

The direct repair bill will not be the only thing to effect the budget with anticipated revenue in North Queensland expected to fall.

 

PVW Partners managing partner Carl Valentine.
PVW Partners managing partner Carl Valentine.

 

PVW Partners managing partner Carl Valentine said mining royalties, payroll tax and stamp duty, all revenue streams for the State Government, would be affected by the flooding.

"It's like an onion, once you take the first layer off there will be many more in the future," he said.

"Longer term I think the jury is still out about whether this sets us back or gives us a kick start."

Mr Valentine said with the Mount Isa to Townsville rail line damaged and not scheduled to be repaired until late April at the earliest, there would be a reduction in mining royalties.

In turn this will impact output at the Port of Townsville, which generates a dividend for the government.

Mr Valentine said payroll tax would fall too because of businesses closing because of the damage.

The possibility of falling home values would impact on stamp duty tax too.

However, Ms Trad said the "incredible discipline" the State Government had shown in terms of budget would help it deal with the repair bill.

"Because of our surpluses each and every year, because of the responsible revenue measures that were introduced at the last budget and taken to the people of Queensland and because we have paid down $14 billion worth of debt, we are in a position where we can respond to the people of North Queensland and North-West Queensland," she said.

LNP Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander said in Queensland you need to be prepared for the literal rainy day.

"Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to rule out any new taxes or levies because she can't manage the state's finances," he said.

"Labor's spiralling debt has left the state exposed to disasters just like the Townsville floods.

"North Queenslanders already get slugged with massive insurance bills, they shouldn't have to pay any more because of Labor's economic mismanagement."