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Queensland State Budget: 2021-22

Queensland State Budget: 2021-22

Kerry Bebendorf

Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick delivered the state's 2021-22 budget on Tuesday 15 June 2021, which follows Queensland’s nation-leading success in managing the economic and health challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The government is projected to record an operating surplus of $153 million by mid-2025, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk commenting that the “Queensland economy is coming back bigger, stronger and faster than any of us could have expected.”

The Budget is focused on building on Queensland’s $360 billion economic recovery plan sooner and stronger than the rest of Australia, with the priorities listed as:

  • Backing small businesses
  • Record operating and capital funding for health services
  • Improving education outcomes for teachers and students
  • Bolstering frontline response
  • Increased domestic violence support
  • Investing for women
  • Renewables and clean energy 
  • Delivering on an infrastructure program
  • Responding to community needs, including social housing and homelessness investment.

Read on for more information on how the budget may impact you.

Small Business

The budget includes targeted measures to support Queensland businesses through investment and grant funding. It does not propose any further tax breaks for small businesses, and unlike the recently released Victorian Budget, it does not impose an increase in land taxes or transfer duties. It does however note that last year’s payroll tax refunds and payment deferrals provided more than $500 million of refunds paid.

Key highlights for 2021-22 include:
  • $140 million allocated to the Big Plans for Small Business Strategy, which contains $100 million Business Investment Fund targeting government investments in small and medium sized businesses, and $30 million in grants and other support to increase small business skills
  • Up to $140 million committed to a revitalised Back to Work program to provide eligible businesses with the confidence to employ Queenslanders who have experienced unemployment
  • $71 million to the Queensland screen industry
  • $7 million allocated to the live music industry.
We expect more information to become available regarding the Big Plans for Small Business Strategy, in particular further details regarding grant funding allocated to small businesses - keep an eye out for further updates on this


Key infrastructure and spending commitments include:
  • Capital program of $14.7 billion , with 61.2% provided for projects outside of Greater Brisbane, supporting 29,800 regional jobs
  • $1.5 billion allocated to the continued construction of the $6.9 billion Cross River Rail project in Brisbane
  • $1.044 billion for the Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3 which will extend the light rail from Broadbeach South to Burleigh Heads
  • Queensland Rail has a $900.4 million capital program which includes $541.7 million to grow or enhance the rail network
  • at least $200 million towards Bruce Highway upgrades to improve safety, flood resilience and capacity.
Further contributions towards a number of funds are established as: 
  • New $3.34 billion Queensland Jobs Fund – incorporates a range of existing programs, and commits funding for a number of new initiatives to strengthen supply chains, foster innovation, diversify regional economies, create jobs and boost income levels
  • New $2 billion Queensland Renewable Energy and Hydrogen Jobs Fund (to expand on the previous $500 million Renewable Energy Fund). This will enable investments by Queensland’s government owned energy businesses in commercial renewable energy and hydrogen projects, as well as supporting infrastructure, and assist Queensland to achieve the 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030
  • Establishment of a $1 billion Housing Investment Fund to support current and future housing needs.

A record health investment of $22.2 billion will continue to provide a world-class health system, which is also critical to effectively manage the ongoing risks of COVID-19. This includes $20.885 billion in operating funding and a $1.35 billion capital program.  Some of the key spending commitments towards the health sector are: 
  • Funding to support the state’s public hospital and ambulance services and facilities, community health services, mental health, drug and alcohol services, and research and scientific services
  • Establishment of a $2 billion Hospital Building Fund to assist in meeting growth pressures across the health system
  • $648.7 million for COVID-19 response and support the opening of the Nambour Hospital redevelopment
  • $103.5 million for the Caboolture Hospital redevelopment
  • $233.6 million for a range of capital works projects and replacement of health technology equipment at various facilities across the state
  • $177 million to purchase public health services through the expansion at Mater Public Hospital in Springfield
  • $265 million in funding to deliver satellite hospitals to Bribie Island, Caboolture, Brisbane South, Pine Rivers, Gold Coast, Ipswich, and Redlands.

Future Fund

The Queensland Future Fund (previously Debt Retirement Fund), created with the sole purpose of debt reduction, will hold investments targeted for future growth to support current and future borrowings. Assets contributed or being contributed to the Fund in 2020–21 will mean its estimated value at the end of 2020–21 will be $7.7 billion and the Fund will grow over the forward estimates as returns compound. 


Key employment initiatives noted include:
  • $3.34 billion allocated to the Queensland Jobs Fund, focussing on the investment needed to drive ongoing growth, and provide wider economic and employment benefits. 
  • The $52.2 billion capital to assist in creating many thousands of ongoing jobs, including an estimated 46,500 direct jobs in 2021-22
  • An investment of $320 million over 4 years, and $80 million each year ongoing, for the flagship Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative.
Investing for Women

The budget contains key initiatives to invest in women’s innovation and success, training and skills, physical and mental wellbeing, and connecting women and girls including: 
  • Funding of $15 million to continue to support Queensland businesses to grow and thrive via the Business Basics, Business Boost and Business Growth grants
  • $8 million committed over 2 years for the Social Enterprise Jobs Fund to support scale-up activities and create training and employment opportunities
  • $7.7 million will be invested in perinatal and infant health services (part of a 5 year $31.2 million investment under the Connecting Care to Recovery plan)
  • Provision of $8 million to support the continuation of culturally appropriate maternal, parenting and child health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island women
  • $6.4 million to support Active Community Infrastructure projects.​
Increased Domestic Violence Support

Over 4 years from the 2021-22 year, provision for this support includes:
  • $30 million to boost Domestic Family and Sexual Violence (DFSV) victim support services across the state
  • $20 million to expand DFSV housing support services
  • $4.4 million for critical frontline DFSV services and perpetrator interventions in specialist court locations
  • $4 million for Victim Assist Queensland
  • $2.1 million for activities under Domestic and Family Violence Engagement and Communication Strategy
  • $160.9 million investment to provide housing and support to vulnerable people, including those experiencing domestic and family violence, including specialist homelessness services across Queensland.
  • $1.4 billion for new schools to open in 2023 and 2024, as well as for additional and renewed infrastructure in Queensland's existing state schools
  • $1 billion commitment to Great Schools, Great Future infrastructure will continue to provide existing Queensland schools with new classrooms and facilities
  • $202.9 million over 4 years and $64 million per year ongoing to support the continued provision of universal access to kindergarten in the year before school for Queensland children.
Regional Action Plan

The Government has developed a snapshot of the key budget initiatives and projects announced for each region which we have linked to below,  or you can explore them all on the
Regional Action Plans map:
Brisbane and Redlands Mackay - Whitsundays
Central Queensland Moreton Bay
Darling Downs Outback Queensland
Far North Queensland Sunshine Coast
Gold Coast Townsville
Ipswich Wide Bay