Gas boom will help get state's economy back on track

COAL and LNG will be the driving forces behind getting Queensland's economy back into shape, according to newly released State Budget papers.

The papers suggest the gas boom in central Queensland is likely to lift gross state product up to 6% in the next two years, with the first of the royalties from the LNG projects beginning to flow this year.

It will mark the beginning of an estimated $450 million influx of royalties each year from 2016-17.

Coal will bring in an estimated $2 billion.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said $11 billion of the $14 billion in royalties over the next four years would originate from the coal sector across the state, with the LNG industry playing a vital role in reviving the state's economy.

The Newman government has warned Queenslanders a $25 billion to $30 billion reduction in debt must be made and raising taxes, selling public assets or reducing services are the only options.

With the budget to be announced on Tuesday, public services, community groups, business owners and families are bracing themselves.

The privatisation of Gladstone's port is a hotly contended recommendation to balance the books, as is the sale or lease of electricity generation, both of which will impact the region significantly.

Prior investments in Gladstone such as the Kin Kora roundabout upgrade and the Gladstone-Monto Rd to Awoonga Dam Bypass Rd project were allocations made within the Royalties for Regions proposal of 2013, neither of which have yet seen completion.

Funds for ongoing upgrades to the Bruce Hwy will be a likely priority of the State Government, subject to a cost-sharing agreement with the Federal Government.

Topics:  business coal gladstone lng queensland budget queensland government queensland resources council

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