Earlier today I spoke with Steve Austin on his 612 ABC Brisbane Drive program about the Queensland Government’s Mid Year Fiscal and Economic Review and my recently published book Beautiful One Day, Broke the Next.
While the state government today reported a $677 million surge in royalty revenue this financial year owing to higher than expected coal prices, it still projected more-or-less the same trajectory of increasing state debt, which is on its way to over $83 billion in total by mid-2022. And the MYFER highlighted a substantial fiscal risk to future state budgets, the impending High Court decision in the Timber Creek case regarding native title compensation (see p. 16 of the MYFER).
You can listen to my views on MYFER as well as my responses to Steve’s questions regarding my new book from 2:02:10, but please note this audio will be taken down from the ABC site after it’s been up for a week:
Topics discussed included Sir Leo Hielscher’s fine fiscal legacy, how Queensland’s fiscal situation deteriorated after Terry Mackenroth left the Treasury portfolio in the mid-2000s, how Queensland lost its once much vaunted position as the low tax state, and why we shouldn’t be complacent about the debt. We discussed the fiscal trouble Queensland found itself in during the last financial crisis and how it would be a good insurance policy to pay down debt in case we face another one, with Steve noting predictions of a global recession and possible financial crisis in 2020.
This was the second ABC radio interview on the book I had this week. On Tuesday, I was lucky enough to speak with Pat Hession at ABC North Queensland, who broadcasts from the ABC’s well-positioned site on Wickham St, Townsville, just a short walk from both Flinders St and the Strand:
From the archives: Steve Austin and me chatting about the fiscal challenges facing the newly-elected Palaszczuk government on its first day of Parliament in 2015, from the stately chamber of the Legislative Council (i.e. Qld’s upper house which was abolished in the 1920s).