On Tuesday, I will be attending the Queensland Jobs Growth Summit at Parliament House, which is being hosted by UQ’s School of Economics (my occasional employer) and the Australia Institute. My business Adept Economics is one of several Summit sponsors. In preparation for the Summit, I have written a short paper which I would be grateful for the views of readers on:
Regular readers will recognise several of the charts, paragraphs and recommendations in the paper. In the paper, I note there are some obvious things that can be done to boost jobs and economic activity in Queensland. All that is lacking is the political will to implement them. The recommendations I make to the Queensland Government in the paper are as follows.
- Recommendation 1. Fully deregulate retail trading hours across Queensland. At a minimum, it should adopt the National Retail Association’s proposal to harmonise trading hours across South-East Queensland.
- Recommendation 2. Support the alignment of Saturday and Sunday penalty rates, as recommended by the Productivity Commission.
- Recommendation 3. Over the next few years, progressively raise the payroll tax exemption threshold from $1.1 million to, say, $2 million. Furthermore, over the longer-term it should push for a reform of Commonwealth and State federal financial relations, so the State Government can ultimately abolish inefficient taxes such as payroll tax and stamp duty.
- Recommendation 4. Consider changes to the draft Planning Regulation 2016 to ensure that it has sufficient grounds to intervene and override local planning schemes that are unduly constraining development. Furthermore, it should actively review local planning schemes and propose changes to those that are unnecessarily prohibitive.
- Recommendation 5. Consider privatising government-owned businesses, such as Energex, Ergon, Powerlink and Townsville and Gladstone Ports, by either sale or long-term lease to the private sector, with a view to paying down debt and funding new infrastructure.
- Recommendation 6. Use the Queensland Productivity Commission’s Industry Assistance Inquiry Report as a guide to wasteful government expenditure that could be cut in the interests of paying down debt and funding new infrastructure.
- Recommendation 7. Revive its Department of Premier and Cabinet’s 2015 Economic Action Plan, put a new draft out to public consultation, and consider adopting many of the deregulatory measures advocated in the plan.
- Recommendation 8. Legalise Uber without delay and fast track the new regulatory framework it is developing for taxi services.
- Recommendation 9. Explore opportunities for the relocation of public servants to regional centres, such as the relocation of WorkCover to Townville, where such a move would not result in inefficiencies of public administration.