The Queensland Government was right in rejecting the northern economic zone proposal from the Institute of Public Affairs, as reported in the Brisbane Times:
The concept is intended to encourage investment through reducing fringe benefits and payroll tax, securing property rights and reducing regulatory duplication.
However the idea of an over-arching economic zone failed to win find favour with the state government.
Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser said he had not seen any research or proposal that convinced him a Special Economic Zone was necessary.
Mr Fraser backed the government’s economic record, saying Queensland had the policies in place to usher in a “prosperous future.”
“Already, Queensland’s tax per capita levels are $501 less that the average of the other states and territories,” he said.
Instead of carving out regions of Australia as low-tax, low-regulation zones, we should improve tax and regulatory policy settings across the whole country. There is a risk that, if we create a special economic zone, there would be a migration of investment and skilled labour to the zone, adversely affecting the rest of the country and our ability to pay for public services.