Population growth will no longer be Queensland’s saviour

The latest Midwood Report explains that Queensland can no longer count on huge population growth to boost it’s economy or its property markets.

With net interstate migration down to under 10,000 per annum in Queensland (it has been as high as 52,000 per annum historically), and the cut in overseas migration, the state’s population growth rate of 2.5% per annum over 2005-2010 is likely to fall below 2.0% per annum over 2010-15 according to Midwood.

This rate of growth is still stronger than Australia’s overall average and some would say that this is a good thing.

Treasurer Andrew Fraser already has suggested the fall in population will give the state some breathing space for infrastructure to catch up.

Midwood argues that if the State Government privately believes that a slowdown in population growth will be good for us, then there needs to be another driver of the state economy in the major cities, which do not benefit from mining.

Employment in Queensland remains our weakness and what we need is incentives, not disincentives, to employ people. Payroll tax is an obvious target and should be abolished. It is an old chestnut that Labor has never addressed. All stamp duty on residential housing transactions should also be abolished. Construction is one of the largest employment sectors in Queensland, mines included, and has huge multiplier effects throughout the economy.

A tourism marketing levy should also be introduced (taxed on the users, not facilitators) to fund more promotion and marketing of our state. Fiscal policy can be used to stimulate certain sectors of the economy but it is virtually non-existent in Queensland these days.

It should be a key policy target for Campbell Newman’s “Can do Queensland”.

Source: Midwood Report 


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