The Queensland Government has moved very strongly into economic recovery mode, following the sudden resignation of former Treasurer Jackie Trad.
Newly minted Treasurer Cameron Dick and the rest of the new economic team have been quick to make a series of announcements to boost the economy. This started with the $100 million Resource Community Infrastructure Fund, a voluntary joint contribution from the resource industry and government in lieu of a three-year freeze on the royalties regime. There were also a number of infrastructure announcements across the state, particularly transport and road improvements. This included a number of state and federal jointly funded projects, pointing to a new level of cooperation between Brisbane and Canberra.
The minor Cabinet reshuffle that followed Ms Trad’s resignation saw her former portfolio split between a number of her existing senior Cabinet colleagues. While Mr Dick was the biggest winner, Kate Jones was also promoted and given more responsibility, with the State Development portfolio added to her existing responsibilities. Steven Miles was made Deputy Premier, due to the Labor Left’s numerical strength in the caucus.
The Premier has also been batting away criticism from the Federal Government, the NSW Premier and some tourism operators regarding the closure of Queensland’s border, currently being challenged in the High Court by Clive Palmer and possibly Senator Pauline Hanson. This matter will impact all states, and in fact Mr Palmer’s original challenge was against Western Australia. The Palaszczuk Government has been resolute in its position of keeping the borders closed until the threat of community transmission from the southern states subsides. In the end, the border will almost certainly be open well before September/October, and until then the majority of Queenslanders prefer that the government errs on the side of caution. The matter should be settled well before the state election in October, and if there are any COVID-19 spikes in southern states it will vindicate the Palaszczuk Government's stance.