Burnett MP Stephen Bennett criticises the lack of a state budget in an election year. Picture: Zac O’Brien.
Burnett MP Stephen Bennett criticises the lack of a state budget in an election year. Picture: Zac O’Brien.

COVID-19 fiscal report not enough, says Bennett

BURNETT MP Stephen Bennett said the State Government’s decision to release a COVID-19 economic fiscal report in September instead of an annual budget was “a disgrace”.

“I know it looks good, but it’s smoke and mirrors, mate,” Mr Bennett said.

“I mean a fiscal review does not tell us anything, it doesn’t give us any clarity, it certainly doesn’t allow us the capacity to know.

“What it won’t tell us is, is there any money in the forward estimates planned for the new hospital or flood mitigation or any new schools or road maintenance in our area.”

Treasurer Cameron Dick said last week there will be a fiscal review to the same standards as its regular mid-year fiscal review.

He said it was not a good idea to produce a budget during the uncertainty of the pandemic.

“Consistent with the Federal Government, and all other States and Territories, Queensland suspended the budget for 2020-21 because, as the Prime Minister and Governor of the Reserve Bank have said, it is simply not sensible to produce economic forecasts at this time,” Mr Dick said.

“Now we have a road map to reopen the economy, we can restart the process of assessing the economy and the state’s finances, as we plot the path to recovery and resurgence.”

Mr Dick said he would also be available to speak before the parliament’s economic and governance committee so that Queenslanders could be fully informed before the state election in late October.