The Queensland Competition Authority yesterday released its issues paper for its inquiry into Queensland Government industry assistance. The paper provides an excellent framework for evaluating industry assistance measures. It also highlights a number of costly assistance measures provided by Queensland Government, including:
- $13 million p.a. for Screen Queensland,
- $46 million p.a. for the First Start Loan Program (concessional loans to new farmers),
- $75 million p.a. for Tourism and Events Queensland,
- $120 million p.a. in tax concessions for owners of gaming machines and casinos (which seems very peculiar), and, among many more,
- $110 million p.a. in subsidised electricity prices to regional businesses, mainly farmers and irrigators.
This is a great start for the QCA. What I’d really like to see in the final report is a hit list of programs with strong logical arguments for why they should be cut. I look forward to the interim report at the end of August.
I’ve previously posted on the industry assistance review: