Queensland Budget 2024 - confidence and recognition for our region critical

Ahead of the release of the Queensland Budget 2024 tomorrow, Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE) say that confidence and recognition for our region is critical.

“The top project item we would like to see given attention in this budget is support for getting Inland Rail to Queensland. The Premier and Coordinator General have both given their verbal support for the project, so now is the time to see that support on paper,” says TSBE CEO April Cavanagh.

TSBE are keen to see what the state hands down in relation to the Brisbane 2032 Olympics. “We are not talking about venues and training capacities, but what framework and support is going to be delivered for the business and community landscape, so locals in region have the capacity to tender for work and grow our region off the back of the Olympics, which is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the future of our state.”

Of course, TSBE continues to seek support for the major industries in the region, energy production and agriculture.

Ag always seems to get the short end of the stick during budget time, despite being an industry worth over $24B to our state’s economy in 2023, which is a record industry value.

“We want to see more state support for our region; we really punch above our weight in feeding and powering our state and beyond.”

There have been early prebudget announcements over the last week outlining supporting funding for our friends in North Queensland in relation to our state’s renewable energy transition.

Unfortunately, we are not hearing about much commitment here, even though Toowoomba, Western Downs, Maranoa and down into the Southern Downs already has almost $30B in renewable energy projects underway,” says Ms Cavanagh.

To make sure this spend is positive for our region long term, we need support from the government to insist on local content in these projects. We are calling on the Queensland State Government to consider establishing a framework to hold energy investors and developers accountable to ensuring local content is delivered and measured to make sure our regional communities are deriving true benefit from our states transition to renewable energy.