Hits and Misses in the 2023-24 Qld Budget
The 2023 Queensland budget, released this week, has been an opportunity for the state to put its money where its mouth is when it comes to protecting our climate, communities and nature for future generations.
Overall this budget is extremely positive for the state. With record investment in long-term infrastructure for renewable energy projects, immediate cost-of-living relief on energy bills for all households, and funding to increase national parks and prevent land clearing, there are many things to celebrate.
Much of this has been funded by a modest increase in royalties on the superprofits of Queensland coal companies, meaning those who contributed most to the climate and cost of living crisis are finally helping pay for the renewable energy solutions.
However, announcing new investment in fossil fuel exploration and infrastructure shows that there is still a long road to net zero in Queensland.
We’ll continue to press hard on these issues but we appreciate your engagement and support. Please use the survey below to tell us what you think about the announcements in this budget and we’ll share the results with the Environment Minister.
Cost-of-living and investment in renewable energy
These announcements are a huge win for the PowerTogether coalition, and the people and environment of Queensland. PowerTogether had been asking for energy bill relief and funding for new renewable energy projects, and this budget has delivered.
- A new $550 energy rebate for all Queensland households and a higher $700 rebate for about 600,000 vulnerable households
- A record $19 billion over 4 years to support new wind, solar, storage and transmission
- $60 million for a household energy initiatives program
- $10 million for Vulnerable Households Energy Advice Initiatives
Wildlife, protected areas, and managing Country
Investment in national parks and rangers shows the state is serious about expanding protected areas, critical for stopping the extinction of endangered species like the koala, greater glider, and many others. Australia has an overall commitment to protect 30% of land and oceans by 2030 and Queensland has its own goal to double protected areas to 17% of the state. So far, Queensland is far behind both of these goals, so this particular funding is urgently needed.
- $179 million for new national parks
- $38.6 million over four years for First Nations People to manage Country
Funding was also provided to bolster compliance measures for rural landholders managing native vegetation. Over 100,000 hectares of clearing was 'unexplained' in the last reporting period but this funding will hopefully see an end of clearing high value regrowth and remnant vegetation.
- $9.8 million over four years for enhanced vegetation management compliance measures
Further investment in fossil fuels
We were disappointed to see the following large investments which demonstrate the Government still actively expanding the fossil fuel industry in Queensland.
- $21 million to directly fund exploration for new gas in Bowen and Galilee Basins
- $85.5 million for "hydrogen" ready Brigalow gas peaking power station
- Continued reliance on coal fired power stations for electricity
What do you think?
Give us your feedback on the 2023-24 Queensland State Budget and we’ll use your responses to tell the State Government where they are on track and where they’ve fallen short.