Budget in the red

THE State Government believes it can return Queensland to a budget surplus by 2016 after Treasurer Andrew Fraser delivered his fourth parliamentary budget yesterday.

Although the Central Highlands largely missed out on a range of funding measures and provisions outlined, residents’ pockets would feel a little richer.

Cost of living expenses will leave more money in people’s pockets to help cope with rising costs of living, including the abolishment of the $113 ambulance levy on power bills.

New home owners purchasing properties under $600,000 between August and January 1, 2012, will be entitled to a $10,000 grant.

Pensioners will benefit from the $1.4 billion in concessions and subsidies for living expenses, including increased rebates for electricity and council rates.

Mr Fraser forecast a budget deficit of $4.058 billion for 2011/12, after the impact of devastating floods reduced economic growth by 2.25%. Revenue is expected to increase by 4.4% to $43.007 billion across the financial year, largely contributed to by the expected improvement in coal royalty revenues as exports recover from the floods.

Budget breakdown

 Unemployment to drop from 5.5% to 4.75% in 2012/13

 $14.9B spent on capital works

 Businesses investment predicted to rise to 27.75%, driven by LNG projects

 $11B for health

 $10.3B for education and training

 $10,000 new home buyers grant on properties $600,000 and under purchased between August and January

 $1.4B in concessions and subsidies

 $113 ambulance levy abolished

 Return to budget surplus by 2015/16

 85 new kindergarten services

 Three new schools

 300 extra teachers and teacher aides

 150 extra police

 50 new ambulance officers

 140 new or replacement ambulance vehicles

 49 new or replacement fire vehicles

Sport hits all the targets

Sport hits all the targets

Shooting to provide for all skill levels.

Helping those in need

Helping those in need

Lions band together for drought relief.

Army brings a rocking good time

Army brings a rocking good time

Army band brings tour to Central Queensland.