The budget got a frosty response from union leaders many slamming the Newman Government as dishonest.
The resources and nursing unions were especially outraged, with widespread job cuts imminent.
Sam Canavan reports.
A raft of union reps fronted the media, most condemning the Government’s financial outline.
The budget increase in Queensland coal taxes means our industry is now slugged with the world’s equal-highest coal bill.
Resources Council CEO Michael Roach was outraged.
Michael Roach, CEO QLD Resources Council: “This is what happens when you get Government’s making arbitrary decisions around numbers and dollars without thinking about how they’re going to affect peoples’ lives.”
The Nursing Union was similarly irate, with almost 3,000 jobs set to be slashed across the state.
Beth Mohle, Secretary Qld Nurses Union: “There’s not too much in there in big terms that we can congratulate the Government on, because we’re so concerned about the impact on our members and the job cuts.”
She also rubbished treasurer Tim Nicholls’ claim that service won’t be compromised by the mass sackings.
Beth Mohle, Secretary Qld Nurses Union: “How that’s not going to impact on front line clinical services, I’m damned if I know!”
Conversely, the social housing and Police Unions were happy with the budget hand they were dealt, the boys in blue boosted by a three-and-half-per cent funding increase.
Ian Leavers, Qld Police Union President: “It will ensure the 300 new police over the next year, as well as continuing $1.5M for the ‘drinksafe’ precinct, which will enhance community safety.
While debate will continue to rage on this ‘once in a generation’ budget, time will tell if the Newman Government can turn around Queensland’s financial fortunes.
Sam Canavan, QUT News.