Steven Marsten
Steven Marsten

Budget details still being studied

SPECIFIC details outlining the pros and cons in the Budget for Gladstone region are still being sort by the region’s leaders.

Tax reforms, including the resource tax, and health spending have been major discussion points in the region.

Gladstone Industry leadership board chief executive Kurt Heidecker said it was a concern there was a lack of detail about the resource tax and some fundamental questions had not been answered that have been creating a wave of uncertainty for industry to try and asses what the impacts will be.

“Maybe we will end up with fewer projects and less tax and worse off,” he said.

“There are a number of issues we are unearthing that will need to be gone through.”

GEIDB chief executive Gary Scanlan said he had been trying to work out what the effects for Gladstone would be.

“I have concentrated on industry in the budget. A lot of the impact is the uncertainty with project proposals under the resources tax. A lot of resource players say that they are currently assessing what impact it will be and how it will affect Gladstone,” he said.

Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham and GAPDL chief executive Glen Churchill both said they were still looking for the detail in the budget “to consider whether there is a devil or angel in the detail”.

Sothertons’ Steve Marsten said he didn’t think there was a huge change for small business except the reduction of tax rates for companies, which was brought down 28 per cent.

Gladstone Central Medical Centre Dr Stephen Rigby said he would have liked to have seen more money go towards primary health care delivery through existing general practises rather that waste on further expenditure on Super Clinics, which would not deliver money to patients because it would be funnelled into infrastructure.

Gladstone Regional Council Mayor George Creed said Treasurer Wayne Swan had provided a no-surprises, no-frills Federal Budget 2010.

“As far as Gladstone region is concerned, it is pleasing to see continued support for previously announced initiatives such as the Gladstone Airport contribution and Calliope Crossroads,” Cr Creed said.

“There is still a fair bit to play out with regard to the new Resources Super Profits Tax, but we are obviously anxious about what impact that may have on resource regions like ours.

“The budget is also a bit of a mixed bag for local families, with some reductions in family assistance and child care payments, but some streamlining of the tax return process.”

He said it was pleasing to see some benefits for small business in the instant asset write-off for small business assets under $5000, plus future tax rate falls to 28 per cent by 2014/2015.

The Budget included $1.4 million for roads in the Banana Shire, however Mayor John Hooper declined to comment.

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