Here's your chance to tell the state how to spend money
HUNDREDS of our readers have taken advantage of the State Government's Strong Choices survey since its launch last week - and directing money to regional health services is a clear priority for many.
The Strong Choices survey is an interactive tool that gives Queenslanders access to the range of information they need to understand the choices available to State Government, and the consequences of those choices, in their push to pay down the state's $80 billion debt.
The survey can be viewed on The Gladstone Observer website here or at the bottom of this story.
Our readers are spending more time online completing the survey than those who have chosen to use the Queensland Government's portal.
The debt issue is particularly pertinent to Gladstone, given the city's port is on the list of potential asset sales as the state government looks at ways to pay off its debt.
And there are plenty of infrastructure needs in the city given recent growth.
When asked how the government should invest money it could save if it wasn't required to pay $4 billion annually in interest servicing the debt, one of the major trends emerging from regional Queenslanders was for more money to be spent on hospital upgrades and medical services.
For more than half of those who have responded it is the number one priority.
The second most popular response was to invest money into regional road network upgrades, including major arterial roads and bridges.
One of the more surprising trends to have emerged was a large number of people saying they were in favour of a freeze on public servants' wages for three-years.
It was the most popular cost-saving choice.
However, it remains to be seen whether those who participated in the survey were talking about police, fire or ambulance officers or their elected officials.
"Cancel recent politicians' pay rises and index them to cost of living increases," said one person.
Treasurer Tim Nicholls said the response confirmed that Queenslanders were engaged in tackling the $80 billion debt problem and the annual $4 billion interest paid.