Qld govt's new funds empty: opposition
The Queensland government's promised housing, hospital, renewable energy, indigenous treaty and arts funds are empty, the opposition says.
Treasurer Cameron Dick has announced five new funds, from which millions in interest earnings will be paid to various portfolio areas, in the 2021/2022 budget.
The source of the initial deposits, totalling $3.46 billion, is unclear in the budget papers.
The treasurer's office has told AAP that all five funds will be fully subscribed by July 1.
Shadow Treasurer David Janetzki has called on the government to reveal where the first deposits will come from.
"You just can't make announcements, beyond the forwards across the never-never, and expect it to be taken seriously," he said.
"We understand that there's going to be capital expenditure that is normal run of the mill spending in a budget, but there are enormous questions to answer about these funds."
AAP has sought comment about the source of the deposits from Treasury.
The opposition has also taken aim at Mr Dick's use of a new accounting method to reduce the state's debt burden.
The Queensland Titles Registry (QTR), valued at $7.8 billion, will be transferred into the state's Debt Retirement Fund.
The agency and its ongoing revenue will become DRF assets to offset state debt.
Total debt is now forecast to hit $95.8 billion in 2020/21, reaching $127.3 billion in 2024/25.
It had been forecast to hit $129 billion by 2023/24 in last year's delayed December budget.
The budget has been given the tick by S&P Global, Moody's and Fitch, which maintained their AA+ credit rating for Queensland.
"The state's rapidly recovering economy, strong financial management, and comprehensive liquidity coverage support our ratings and stable outlook," S&P said.
But Mr Janetzki labelled the move "spin and accounting trickery" and called for the Treasurer to explain the new valuation of registry.
He said the QTR is valued almost double the amount it was one year ago and more than its counterparts in NSW and Victoria.
It's said the transfer of a "piece of paper" was somehow expected to help seed some of the funds.
"What we're getting from the treasurer is pure spin and accounting trickery," Mr Janetzki said.
"There is no cash, there is no cash in this cupboard, the budget is empty and it is up to the Treasurer to explain where is the value, what is the basis of the valuation, and how these funds can ultimately be funded in the future."
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