In October of 2023 Queensland’s Palaszczuk Labor government reported a record surplus of $13.93 billion for the 2022-23 Financial Year, $1.625 billion higher than originally estimated in the 2023-2024 Budget.
According to the Queensland State Treasurer, Cameron Dick, this surplus was brought about by both the strong performance of the Queensland labour force and “exceptionally high prices” received by Queensland’s coal companies. Furthermore, general government borrowings at the end of the financial year were almost $1 billion less than the original 2023-2024 budget estimates. Net debt as of the 30th of June 2023 was $2.6 billion, less than ¼ of Queensland’s original net debt of the previous year.
Mr. Dick stated that the surplus was the “largest surplus ever recorded in Queensland’s history” and would be used to fund the Big Build Capital program scheduled over the next 4 years:
“This year we’re embarking on Queensland’s Big Build — the biggest infrastructure program ever undertaken in Queensland; we’re also undertaking the largest health infrastructure program in the commonwealth, but there’s more…Our big build over the next four years totals $89 billion. As part of that, we’ve got a Queensland health capacity building program — that’s our building program for Queensland hospitals. That’s $10 billion over the forwards. That’s the biggest single hospital building program in Australia.”
“Our progressive coal royalty tiers are delivering for Queenslanders right across the state, as they rightfully should, at a time that coal producers are benefiting from extraordinary prices.”