Brisbane inner city and Qld outback get highest Qld Gov’t capital spending per person

Here’s the latest version of a chart I usually prepare following each state budget on Queensland Government capital spending per person by region (i.e. the ABS SA4 regions). The very high per person spending figure for the Queensland outback is due to it having only 84,000 people in it and having vast distances we need to run roads, pipes, and power lines through. The very high per person CAPEX in Brisbane inner city is due to the dubious Cross River Rail project, which, in fairness, allegedly will benefit areas other than inner Brisbane by improving the efficiency of the rail network. As much as I think Cross River Rail is a waste of money, I must admit the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) Tracker is pretty cool, and it looks like they’re making reasonably good progress. I was impressed when I learned that they were tunnelling underneath me when I was walking through the Botanic Gardens a few weeks ago.

A chart showing Queensland Government capital spending per person by region, showing the Queensland outback and Brisbane inner city well ahead of other regions.

In terms of broad regions, I’ve estimated Queensland Government CAPEX per person to be around $2.8k state-wide, $2.95k in the Brisbane City area, $2.3k in SEQ, and $3.8k for the rest of Queensland (i.e. not SEQ). The areas which appear to be missing out the most are those parts of SEQ outside of inner city Brisbane. Estimated Queensland Government CAPEX per person in non-Brisbane SEQ is $1.95k.

Regarding the CAPEX per person estimates, the CAPEX figures are from Queensland Budget Paper 3: Capital Statement 2021-22 and I’ve estimated population figures for 2021-22 based on 2019-20 ABS estimates for SA4 regions and Queensland Budget population growth forecasts for Queensland.

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