Ben Smee and colleagues report in The Guardian (21.6.21) on the release of the Palaszczuk government's 2022-23 budget, with Treasurer Cameron Dick increasing the state's tax revenue to fund expanded health and hospital services.
'Queensland has announced plans to increase royalties on coal companies amid record profits, as surging prices for fossil fuels help fund investment in the state’s healthcare sector.
'The Queensland treasurer, Cameron Dick, said the state would record an unexpected $1.9bn surplus in 2021-22 off the back of surging prices for fossil fuels, although a small deficit is forecast next financial year.
'The centrepiece of the budget is a $23.6bn investment in healthcare – an increase of $1.2bn, roughly 6% – that would include measures to hire 9,450 healthcare workers, build three new hospitals and add 2,200 new hospital beds.
'The state has also set aside $1.6bn for mental health services over five years, to be funded by a payroll tax levy applied to the largest 1% of businesses.'