16,000 suggest ways to tackle Qld's $80 billion debt
MORE than 16,000 people have taken part in a State Government survey to identify ways of tackling Queensland's $80 billion debt.
Treasurer Tim Nicholls said the response to the website confirmed that Queenslanders were engaged in the discussion on tackling $4 billion in interest paid each year.
"We've had more than 76,000 unique visits to the website and more than 16,000 completed submissions," he said.
"The site has had more than 337,000 page views, so Queenslanders are delving down into the information there to find out more about the Strong Choices they face.
"This clearly indicates that despite the unions' scaremongering and tricky tactics, Queenslanders know we have a real challenge to tackle that requires Strong Choices to be made.
"Queenslanders are telling the Government that we need to prepare for growth but we can't do this without dealing with the accumulated debt of the last 10 years.
Mr Nicholls said the submissions to the website were wide ranging.
"The options people are favouring for reducing the debt include bringing private investment into the electricity network and selling or leasing port facilities; increasing tax on gambling and increasing mining royalties; and cutting sporting and first-home buyer grants.
Mr Nicholls said small but interested audiences had attended the four community forums held last week.
"People genuinely want to hear more about the state's financial position and what can be done to free up funds for vital infrastructure projects," he said.
Mr Nicholls said due to the Easter period, school holidays and the shortened week due to ANZAC Day, numbers for tonight's Charleville community forum were too low and today's Charleville forum had had to be called off.
"Charleville residents will have the opportunity to take part in the Outback Virtual Town Hall meeting on Monday, April 28," he said
"I'll also be holding a round table with community leaders from the Charleville area in coming weeks.
"This is a once in generation challenge and as Queenslanders we know how to work together to tackle our challenges.
"Our $80 billion debt is costing us $4 billion a year in interest bills, which could fund 25 new schools, redevelop and expand a 300 bed regional hospital and construct 900km of highway."
"There are 28 days to go before submissions close on Monday, 19 May.
"I'm encouraging everyone in Queensland to have their say on how to reduce the debt and identify their priorities by visiting the Strong Choices website," he said.