Following last year’s state budget, I posted on how Brisbane’s inner city was the big winner regarding state government capital spending. That continues in 2020-21 with the continuation of the huge Cross River Rail project (see chart below). Out of budgeted state government capital purchases of $12.6 billion in 2020-21, $3.1 billion is budgeted to be spent in inner Brisbane, with transport projects (largely Cross River Rail) accounting for $1.7 billion of that. Of course, people across the metro area can benefit from projects in inner Brisbane, but it still looks like a huge disparity to me. Arguably, the state government should be investing less in inner Brisbane and more in suburban activity centres, particularly post-COVID if many people continue working from home.
If we add in the $2.2 billion of capital grants the state government makes, state government capital spending in the outback jumps up a lot. This is probably due to Queensland’s numerous Outback councils getting grants for capital works projects from the state government (see chart below).
The capital spending data used in this post can be found in the state government’s Budget Paper 3-Capital Statement. The population estimates for 2020-21 were based on ABS estimates for 2018-19 and the state population growth estimates for 2019-20 and 2020-21 presented in Budget Paper 2-Budget Strategy and Outlook. Thanks to Adept Economics Research Assistant Taylor-Rose Hull for her assistance with gathering the data.
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