Queensland’s finances and productivity are improving as the Government marks one year since the release of the report of the Independent Commission of Audit.
Treasurer Tim Nicholls said the Government was on track to have a third of the 131 accepted recommendations completed by the end of the year.
“The first priority identified by the Commission of Audit was to stabilise the budget and we are on track to achieve a budget surplus by 2015-2016, the first in a decade,” Mr Nicholls said.
“Through the Strong Choices campaign we’re now talking to Queenslanders about how we reduce Queensland’s $80 billion debt by the $25-$30 billion recommended by the Independent Commission of Audit.
“Reducing our debt will lower our $4 billion a year interest bill and free up vital funds to pay for the roads, rail and dams we need to grow Queensland’s economy.
“Queenslanders have shown they are seriously interested in this discussion with the Strong Choices website attracting more than 30,000 submissions so far.”
But Mr Nicholls said the Independent Commission of Audit’s thousand page report was about more than getting the state’s finances back on track.
“The Independent Commission of Audit has laid out a blueprint for the Government to act on its election promise to revitalise frontline services for Queenslanders,” he said.
“We’ve taken a long, hard look at the services Government provides and whether the way we’re doing that is the best way in a modern, productive economy.
“There have been significant gains in the health, social housing and public transport sectors, where service delivery reviews have led to real improvements.”
In health, hospital stays have reduced and 78 per cent of patients leave emergency departments within four hours.
In housing, the long-term social housing waiting list has reduced by 35 per cent and the Government has introduced a new service – Rent Connect – to help customers into the private rental market.
In public transport, 96 per cent of trains are now running on time.
“This is the result of the Government working with frontline agencies and the private sector to improve services,” Mr Nicholls said.
Mr Nicholls said the Independent Commission of Audit had set the framework for the Government to repair the state’s finances and re-shape the business of government.
“This two-pronged approach is delivering real results for Queensland,” he said.
“Queensland is on the cusp of strong growth but we know there is more to do to ensure all Queenslanders benefit.
“The challenge now is to make the Strong Choices to pay down our $80 billion debt and allow us to build productive infrastructure for the future to ensure Queenslanders continue to enjoy the quality of life they have come to expect now and into the future.”