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Queensland Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek

$1.5 Billion Wiped From Flood Aid As Interest Payment For QLD’s Record Debt Rises

Victor P Taffa

Crippling Interest Payments on the State’s Record Debt have wiped another $1.5 Billion from the State’s Flood Relief Capacity and is hindering the size of financial assistance being offered to flood ravaged communities, the State Opposition said today.

Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek today released official Treasury figures that confirm the State Government has to find $4.4 Billion ($1.5 Billion more than last year) in the upcoming state budget simply to pay the interest on the State’s Debt, before it can allocate extra funds for flood relief, infrastructure and flood mitigation.

Mr. Langbroek said the interest bill in the upcoming State Budget would be $1.5 Billion more than last year (2009-10 – 2011-12) and again condemned the State Government for failing to put money aside during the boom years to help out in the tough.

“That’s $1.5 Billion we could be investing right now in flood relief if record debt levels weren’t crippling the State Government’s financial capacity to respond to this crisis.” Mr. Langbroek said.

Mr. Langbroek said Labor’s crippling debt was the reason why Labor and Anna Bligh had only allocated an extra $1 Million to the worst floods in modern history. He also dismissed the Treasurer’s claim that the floods would be responsible for funding cuts in other areas.

“This flood is not responsible for Queensland’s Record Debt and Loss of AAA credit-rating. Instead Queensland’s record debt and loss of AAA credit-rating is responsible for not being able to properly address the flood crisis.” Mr. Langbroek said.

Mr. Langbroek said if the state’s debt had not spiralled out of control, then the State Government would have an additional $1.5 Billion to invest immediately in flood relief measures, infrastructure and flood mitigation.

“The simple reality is that we start the year having to find an extra $1.5 Billion simply to pay the interest bill on our debt that will cost $4.4 Billion.”

“That means finding funding for extra flood relief and finding funding to maintain existing services, can only be done after we have paid the extra $1.5 billion to pay the interest on the state’s debt.” Mr. Langbroek said.

The Sale and Float of Queensland Rail could not have come at a worse time for Queensland. Editor Victor P Taffa never supported the Sale of Queensland Rail and what has transpired in Queensland has brought bad decision making to the fore.

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