Better policies would help Qld win the Economic State of Origin

At times during the last mining boom, Queensland was winning the economic State of Origin against NSW, with higher employment growth, a lower unemployment rate and a higher gross state product (GSP) per capita. But those glorious days are behind us, and we have started to fall behind NSW again in recent years (see charts below). While Queensland’s recent pick up in employment growth is encouraging, there are concerns regarding how sustainable it is, particularly given the large contribution of public service jobs to the recorded increase. To win the Economic State of Origin, I would recommend policies designed to reduce costs to business and to reduce constraints on their operations, e.g. by cutting payroll tax or deregulating retail trading hours. I would also consider, as NSW has done, privatisation of state assets, and using part of the proceeds to fund new infrastructure—so-called “asset recycling.”


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