Qld wants 'fair share' of federal funding

Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick says his state is being shortchanged in the federal budget.
Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick says his state is being shortchanged in the federal budget.

Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick says his state is being short-changed in the federal budget for much smaller "city-states" such as South Australia.

Queensland is reportedly due to be allocated $1.6 billion in infrastructure funding in Tuesday night's federal budget.

SA is reportedly getting $2.6 billion for infrastructure, while NSW and Victoria are each in line to receive $3 billion.

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is expected to unveil more infrastructure funding in the budget.

Mr Dick says the initial funding breakdown isn't proportionate, because Queensland's population of 5.18 million is more than double SA's population of 1.77 million.

"These are specific decisions the federal government's made to fund specific projects in specific states," he told ABC Radio on Monday.

"And if we want to do it on a population and a state size basis, we are the most decentralised state in the nation.

"South Australia is a city-state effectively, so is Victoria, and I'm not saying they don't deserve funding but we deserve what's fair for us."

Mr Dick said Queensland also deserved a higher proportion of funding because its population growth is the fastest.

In the 12 months to September 2020, the state's population grew by 68,200 to 5.18 million, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Queensland's population growth of 1.3 per cent was more than Western Australia's growth of 1.2 per cent, Victoria's of 0.7 per cent, NSW's of 0.6 per cent and the national rate of 0.9 per cent.

SA's population grew by 0.7 per cent or 12,700 to 1.77 million in the same period.

The treasurer said the federal government was failing to help Queensland meet the growing demand for infrastructure.

"They are not effectively funding states where the population is growing, and that's a city the size of Gladstone that effectively moved to Queensland last year," he said.

Mr Dick and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Sunday published a wish list of projects for which they would like to receive federal funding.

The list includes almost $1.7 million for major road upgrades and the waiving of housing-related debt worth $263.1 million, as has occurred in South Australia and Tasmania.

Federal opposition infrastructure spokeswoman Catherine King said Queensland's smaller slice of the pie was inexplicable.

"Queenslanders are sick of being treated second-best," she said in a statement.

"What Queenslanders need is real infrastructure delivery that boosts productivity, reduces congestion and connects our cities and regions."

Queensland deputy opposition leader David Janetzki said people are looking for a way forward from the state government, not more complacency and blame directed at the Commonwealth.

"At the moment all the treasurer can do is blame others," Mr Janetzki said on Monday.

"He should be looking to fast-track infrastructure and develop productivity measures that will drive the Queensland economy.

"The glossy brochure approach will just not work anymore."

Australian Associated Press