BUDGET BLOW-UP: MP explains frustration over corona delay
MP STEPHEN Bennett has lashed out at the State Government in frustration over its decision not to release a budget in an election year.
The Member for Burnett's criticism came following the announcement that the State Government was making a $200 million bid for Virgin Australia.
Mr Bennett has spoken against the bid, and said it was "even more disturbing" without an annual budget.
New Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick said this week there would be "full financial details and full financial statements before the election", due in late October.
"Clearly I'll be discussing this with the Premier (Annastacia Palaszczuk), and we'll be monitoring what else the national cabinet decides as we see what other jurisdictions do including the Federal Government," Mr Dick said.
"Queenslanders can be assured there will be full information going to the community and we'll make a decision about what form that takes in due course to ensure Queenslanders get the information they need."
But when his office was asked yesterday if Mr Dick was referring to a budget, a spokesman said "we'll have more to say soon."
The spokesman did say the decision to postpone budgets was made by the national cabinet, and was supported by all jurisdictions.
Mr Bennett said a transitional period between former treasurer Jackie Trad and Mr Dick was not a good enough reason to prevent the annual budget, nor was the current instability of the economy.
"The other thing about not doing a budget is it doesn't allow Opposition and members like myself to use the estimates process to question ministers and departments about issues that are really important to us," he said.
"So if you don't have a budget, as an opposition member it is very, very hard to hold the government to account except for question time and a few speeches I make on the floor of parliament, that get ignored anyway.
"My point is estimates is the process of our democracy that allows us the scrutiny, and last year's budget process started to unravel some of the integrity problems that have been plaguing this government now for five years,."
Bundaberg Regional Council organisational services spokesman Steve Cooper said the timing of the state budget did not impact the council.
"Except we're unaware of any grants or forward programs that might be delivered through local government unless these are announced separately," Cr Cooper said.
He said the council's budget will be adopted before June 30, as was required by legislation.