I noticed that Mike Kaiser, labelled by the Courier-Mail as a “Queensland Labor stalwart,” has urged the new Queensland Government to retain the Queensland Plan that was developed by the previous Government. I disagree with Mr Kaiser that the Queensland Plan was a sound approach, and I would be very happy to see it go. The Queensland Plan contains a lot of high-level, motherhood statements and provides a very poor guide to future policy.
The development of Government policies requires detailed analysis on an issue-by-issue or project-by-project basis, and a glossy, high-level plan such as the Queensland Plan can’t do this. The lack of detailed analysis is apparent in one of the major policy targets set in the Queensland Plan: to double the regional population outside South-East Queensland. There is no real analysis in the Plan of what this would cost and what it would mean for State economic performance. Targets shouldn’t be set without undertaking detailed analysis of whether achieving the specified target is feasible and would yield net benefits to the community.
The Queensland Plan was a waste of taxpayers’ money and took valuable time away from the former Government – time that it should have spent on detailed policy analysis and development. I would be very pleased if the new Government threw out the Plan. Indeed, I was a critic of the Queensland Plan even when it was in its developmental stage: