No surprises in Commission of Audit findings

I’m unimpressed by the Commission of Audit’s findings that have been reported this morning, prior to the formal launch of its report later today. The Brisbane Times reports Debt paid Labor’s bills, which isn’t a revelation and wasn’t covered up by the previous Government. Indeed, some of the evidence cited comes straight from the Mid-Year Economic Review released in January.

The Courier-Mail has a marginally more interesting story, reporting Queensland’s debt headed for $100b in six years. The previous Government had projected that its gross borrowings would reach $85 billion in 2014-15, so there may be something interesting driving the $100 billion projection, but we’ll need to see the full report when it’s released this morning. If the Commission of Audit can show that previous capital expenditure projections by Government departments (e.g. Transport and Main Roads) or Government-owned corporations (e.g. ENERGEX) were under-done, this may be a cause for concern. Otherwise, it’s just a hypothetical number based on assumptions about what the previous Government might have done beyond 2014-15, which is now a pretty meaningless exercise.

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