The to-do list for Queensland election winner

Queensland business and community leaders have implored the two women vying to be the state's next premier to embrace the to-do list they've drawn up to strengthen the economy in the COVID-19 recession.

Reduced taxes, incentives that attract private investment and massive investments in infrastructure were all vital in ensuring the state could bounce back, they said.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry general manager of advocacy and policy Amanda Rohan said, because spending was so tight, the next government should make sure every dollar leveraged capital from the private sector. CCIQ also wants incentives for business to upgrade equipment to manage energy, water and waste usage in a move that will increase sustainability and boost productivity.

 

CCIQ's Amanda Rohan. Picture: Annette Dew
CCIQ's Amanda Rohan. Picture: Annette Dew

 

And it joins Master Builders in asking for an overhaul of the government's tender process to make it easier for Queensland small businesses to bid for and to view the pipeline of coming work to make planning easier.

Master Builders deputy chief executive Paul Bidwell said any future government that ignored the construction industry - one of the state's largest employers - would do so at its peril. "The role we'll play in Queensland's economic recovery is vital and won't be as effective if we're not running efficiently," he said. Mr Bidwell wants "waves of new regulation" ripped up, including Labor's security of payment laws and some safety laws that he argues are "misused for industrial relations agendas".

"We need continued focus on stimulus measures and public spending to ensure we drive the economic recovery in Queensland," he said.

"We've also called for a project pipeline to give industry the confidence to play over the next few years, providing details of the estimated cost, the timing and expected duration of the state's building projects."

Property Council Queensland executive director Chris Mountford said both parties needed policies that addressed tax competitiveness for investors and attracted private investment into social and affordable housing, and that taxes needed to fall, especially those on foreign investment.

 

Chris Mountford, Queensland executive director of Property Council of Australia. (News Corp/Attila Csaszar)
Chris Mountford, Queensland executive director of Property Council of Australia. (News Corp/Attila Csaszar)

 

"The good news is that this economic downturn is very different to the GFC," Mr Mountford (right) said.

"Private capital is available right now around the world and keen to invest in projects that stack up. All Queensland needs is the right settings and the investment will follow."

He called for strata reform that reduced the requirement for 100 per cent of owners to agree to the redevelopment of a property to 75 per cent, which was still a "clear majority". "There are simply too many examples now of owners trapped in old crumbling buildings they cannot afford to maintain but cannot sell because a single owner is holding out against the will of the majority," he said.

"This change is fair and will create the opportunity for new world-class developments in some of Queensland's most sought-after locations."

Queensland Council of Social Service chief executive Aimee McVeigh wants 30,000 social housing dwellings built by 2025, rental law reforms and community organisations funded to provide no-interest loans to people on low incomes "who would otherwise turn to dodgy payday lenders".

"The COVID crisis has meant more Queenslanders than ever before are experiencing social and financial pressure," she said. "No Queenslander should be left behind during the economic recovery."

REIQ chief executive Antonia Mercorella said it was a good time to abolish stamp duty, which was "the most significant barrier to home ownership".

 

Real Estate Institute of Queensland CEO Antonia Mercorella. Picture: Richard Walker
Real Estate Institute of Queensland CEO Antonia Mercorella. Picture: Richard Walker

 

She said it was estimated as many as 340,000 property transactions were foregone each year due to the tax, which accounts for about 45 per cent of the total cost of moving property.

The body is arguing for a 10-year phase-out of the tax, beginning with exemptions for over 65s and all business sales, and then ultimately the introduction of a broadbased land tax to replace stamp duty, as has been done in the ACT.

The REIQ had also suggested an extension of the $15,000 First Home Buyers Grant to established housing, rather than just new builds.

RACQ head of public policy Rebecca Michael said Queensland needed urban congestion projects as well as inland road, upgrades that increased freight capacity and mass safety upgrade programs to reduce deaths and serious injuries.

Ms Michael also called for a three-year rego freeze and permanent adoption of real-time fuel pricing.

Meanwhile, Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said a detailed industry development plan was needed, alongside 10 years of fixed royalty rates, a guaranteed consultation period of 12 months on new legislation, and a clear commitment to streamlined assessment and approval process for new projects and expansions.

"The resources sector and the 372,000 Queensland men and women working who rely on it for a job need a Government who will support them," Mr Macfarlane said.

 

 

 

Originally published as The to-do list for election winner


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