The Budget cuts have ignited a battle with state governments.
Premier, Campbell Newman, is calling for an emergency COAG meeting.
He says Canberra’s shifted the burden of school and hospital funding onto the states.
Rachel Riga reports.
The Premier was out selling some positive news for Queensland opening a new $86 million freight handling facility.
But he says Treasurer Joe Hockey has left him in the lurch.
Campbell Newman, Qld Premier: “The Federal Government is making the states do all the heavy lifting and make the tough decisions.”
He says the changes weren’t discussed at the recent COAG meeting and has called for another.
At this morning’s Budget Breakfast, Former Prime Minister, John Howard said the Abbott Government’s budget was tough, but necessary.
John Howard, Former Prime Minister: “I would call last night’s budget the main-game budget because what last night’s budget did was tackle the economic challenges Australia faces.”
Queensland Treasurer, Tim Nicholls, said he welcomed investment in roads and infrastructure, funds towards the Commonwealth Games and a $40 million fund to fix the Great Barrier Reef.
But some cuts went too far.
Tim Nicholls, Qld Treasurer: “Obviously also disappointment in terms of the impact of the cuts that the Government announced in the funds for both health and education.”
Mr Nicholls said the State Government would take the fight up to Canberra.
Over the next 20 years, Queensland will see more than 400,000 school kids through the system and an increase in the population over the age of 65. Both parties agree the immediate concern is the effect changes will have to the health and education services.
Annastacia Palaszczuk, Opposition Leader: “I’m very concerned about the cuts to health and education. What we are going to see is a generation of young people who won’t go on to further education.”
The states have been told if they want more money from the GST to help cope with new funding arrangements, it’s up to them to argue the case.
Rachel Riga, QUT News.