Queensland Government releases 2022/23 State Budget

Treasurer Cameron Dick handed down Queensland's 2022/23 Budget earlier this week, with health investment taking centre stage, paving the way for important new social infrastructure and job creation. 

The Budget was buoyed by record coal prices, high employment, and of course well above average residential transaction volumes- with over 207,000 transactions contributing to transfer duty being up more than 50 per cent on the previous year.   

Given the record transactions, it was pleasing to see no new taxes being levied on the property industry. The interstate land tax model (or land tax ‘adjustment’) announced late last year will take effect from next land tax year (1 July 2023).  

A record commitment to healthcare was announced, delivering 2,200 additional hospital beds across both new and expanded hospital services. 

Mental health was also a focus of the Budget, with employers with annual taxable wages of $10m+ subject to a levy on payroll tax (0.25 per cent for $10m+ and 0.5 per cent for $100m+) from 1 January 2023. 

$59 billion will be invested in infrastructure over the next four years, with $15.5 billion allocated in 2022/23. 63 per cent will be spend outside of Greater Brisbane. 

The Property Council has long advocated for further investment in catalytic infrastructure needed to unlock housing supply, so were pleased to see $200 million invested into the Catalytic Infrastructure Fund and the Growth Acceleration Fund (as announced last week).  

The Growth Area Program will also receive $200 million over three years, and funding will also continue for the Growth Monitoring Program. 

With the property industry being at the coalface of workforce issues, Government has allocated additional funding of up to $7.8 million for the Tradies in Paradise Initiative to encourage workers to move to Queensland. 

Further information on the Budget can be found here, and the Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 that will give effect to the interstate land tax model, can be found here

Mental health levy
A mental health levy will be introduced to assist in meeting the increasing demands for mental health services. This levy will be applied to payroll tax liabilities effective from January 1, 2023. A 0.25 per cent levy will apply to employers or groups of employers who pay $10 million or above in Australian taxable wages, with those who pay $100 million and above liable for a 0.50 per cent levy.

Infrastructure
A capital program of $59 billion will be invested in infrastructure over the next four years, with $15.5 billion allocated in 2022/23.The Queensland Government has committed $200 million to provide funding to deliver essential infrastructure such as sewerage, water and roads to unlock housing supply.This budget allocation will consist of two funds:

  • $150 million for the Catalytic Infrastructure Fund that requires co-investment of at least 20 percent towards the cost of the major infrastructure going into their development projects for developers to access funding.  
  • $50 million for the Growth Acceleration Fund to provide for trunk infrastructure across identified growth areas. There is $15 million already committed to Caboolture West to deliver water and sewerage infrastructure.

The budget also provides for a $3.5 billion expansion of new rail projects that includes:

  • Beerburrum to Nambour track duplication
  • Kuraby to Beenleigh track duplication 
  • Stage three of Gold Coast Light Rail 
  • Manufacturing of 65 new trains in Maryborough 

Housing
Despite being in the grips of a housing supply shortage with record demand, there has been a lack of direct spending on housing initiatives. The Property Council had strongly advocated for a land tax incentive for Build to Rent, similar to that adopted by NSW, Victoria and WA, so was disappointed to yet again see this overlooked in the Budget.

Initiatives included in the Budget focus on the Housing Investment Fund announced last year.

These include:

  • $282 million to deliver social housing dwellings, commence and continue construction, and upgrade existing dwellings
  • $5 million over 2 years for the Community Housing Provider Development Program 
  • $222.2 million over 2 years from 2022-23 and a further $292.5 million over 2 years to deliver new housing and upgrades to existing houses for frontline staff such as police, health workers and teachers in remote locations 
  • $27.1 million to deliver social housing dwellings in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, commence and continue construction, and upgrade existing dwellings

Health
As previously foreshadowed this budget has a significant focus on the health sector, and the budget delivered a record $23.6 billion investment in health. 

  • $9.78 billion to fund a Capacity Expansion Program that includes provision for three hospitals in Coomera, Toowoomba and Bundaberg to be constructed 
  • This program will also fund a $750 million Queensland Cancer Centre to be built at the Herston Health Precinct at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital
  • 11 existing hospitals will be expanded including Logan, Ipswich, Robina and the Princess Alexandra at Woolloongabba to provide additional beds
  • $35.5 million to support locally based vaccine production in Queensland


SEQ City Deal and Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games

There has been no allocation within the budget to the SEQ City Deal, with the allocation of $622.22 million accounted for in agreement signed by all three tiers of government in March of this year. The focus on the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games is ramping up, with additional funding of $59.3 million over four years to support the Brisbane 2032 Taskforce.

Education

$16.5 billion is allocated in this year’s budget for investment in education infrastructure and programs. Ensuring that Queensland has a leading education system is one of the key considerations to maintaining strong population growth and consistent investment.

  • $220 million over two years to provide additional classrooms in schools in high growth areas
  • 5 new schools to be constructed in Caboolture, Caloundra, Ripley, Flagstone and Bahrs Scrub 
  • $40 million to expand safety infrastructure around schools such as car parks, pedestrian crossings, "stop, drop and go" zones, bus and vehicle turnarounds and footpaths 
  • $13.3 million to expand the 'Share the Dignity' partnership across all Queensland State Schools to provide free sanitary products to students 

REGIONAL ROUND UP 

Townsville

Townsville will see $996.3 million worth of infrastructure investment, including: 

  • $232 million to upgrade the Townsville Channel Capacity to widen the channel to be more accessible by larger vessels 
  • $49.7 million to provide more social and affordable housing in the region 
  • $83.5 million for Stage 5 of the Townsville Ring Road 
  • $26 million to connect the Landsdown Eco-Industrial Precinct to the Haughton Pipeline, and a water reservoir 

Gold Coast

The Gold Coast will see $1.7 billion worth of infrastructure investment, including: 

  • $1.2 billion for the Gold Coast Light Rail (Stage 3)
  • $461.1 million to provide more social and affordable housing in the region 
  • $265 million in 2022/23 for the Coomera Connector (Stage One) 
Additional funding of $15.5 million over 5 years has been allocated to The Spit Master Plan Implementation, bringing the total funding for this program to $60 million dollars. 

Sunshine Coast 

The Sunshine Coast will see $819.4 million worth of infrastructure investment, including: 

  • $550 million for the Beerburrum to Nambour Rail Upgrade (Stage One)
  • $35.2 million to provide more social and affordable housing in the region 
  • $25 million in 2022/23 for the Sunshine Motorway, Mooloolah River Interchange upgrade