We write to you in advance of the upcoming State Budget to urge you to prioritise investment in jobs, housing, schools and infrastructure. Our COVID-19 economic recovery here in Queensland will require sacrifices. However, we urge you in the 2021-22 Budget to ask these sacrifices of the wealthiest in our state, rather than asking everyday Queenslanders to sacrifice more.
Additional revenue raising measures
Mining corporations exported $45 billion worth of Queensland resources over the 2020/21 financial year. While this represents a drop from the previous financial year, it is a comparable figure to the 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17 financial years, and represents a vast amount of wealth being generated from our state’s resources even during the COVID-19 pandemic. We urge you to end the freeze on mining royalties and increase mining royalties to ensure mining corporations are contributing their fair share to our economic recovery.
Despite a tumultuous year, the Commonwealth Bank was able to pay their CEO the equivalent of an estimated $8.4 million. The big banks can afford to contribute more to our economic recovery. We urge you to introduce a modest levy of 0.05% of total liabilities per quarter on the five biggest banks operating in Queensland.
With an increased demand for property, low interest rates and the potential for Queensland to host the 2032 Olympics, it is very likely we will see another big property boom in South East Queensland. It is essential that property developers contribute their fair share towards the public services and infrastructure that new residents need. We urge you to act now and implement a developer tax on land value gains from upzoning, applicable only to developers who are redeveloping the land. In addition, the government needs to urgently lift the cap on infrastructure charges, so that local councils have the flexibility to charge developers according to the cost of delivering crucial infrastructure.
Investing in jobs, housing, schools and infrastructure
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Queensland is still a wealthy state. However, too much of our state’s wealth is going into the hands of mining billionaires, property developers and big banks, and too little is going into funding our schools, hospitals and public infrastructure. We urge the government to raise mining royalties, introduce a modesty levy on the big banks and implement a developer tax, and invest this additional revenue in:
- Creating 20,000 jobs by building 25,000 public homes each year over the next four years;
- Increasing funding to state schools to meet the full 80% School Resourcing Standard;
- Introducing a free breakfast and lunch program in all Queensland state schools;
- Making public transport free in Queensland to bust congestion;
- Building publicly owned solar panel, wind turbine and green steel factories, creating thousands of long-term jobs in regional Queensland;
- Creating an average of 23,000 jobs a year building publicly owned renewable energy, to reach 100% renewables by 2030; and
- Increasing funding to social and community services to properly support Queenslanders through this challenging time.
Thank you for the opportunity to outline these key statewide priorities. We hope you will give them due consideration. Please don’t hesitate to contact either of our offices if we can provide any further information or if you would like to discuss these matters further.
Amy MacMahon Michael Berkman
Member for South Brisbane Member for Maiwar