Cyclone Debbie damage bill will dominate State Budget

REBUILDING after Cyclone Debbie and reviving the state's tourism sector will dominate the Budget, according to Treasurer Curtis Pitt.

Describing last month's tropical storm and its flooding aftermath as a "significant curveball" for Queensland's finances, Mr Pitt yesterday would not put a figure on property damage and the economic impact as assessments continued.

The repair bill will come on top of a probable hit to mining royalties due to lower production levels.

But Mr Pitt said Cyclone Debbie had not derailed his plan to post a surplus in mid-June.

"It is absolutely my intention to post a surplus," Mr Pitt said.

"Of course, we've been dealt the cards that we have, so we've got to work with those."


Mr Pitt said while the recovery would form a critical part of the Budget, job creation would also be a key.

Shadow treasurer Scott Emerson said without the expected boost to coal royalties, the Treasurer would be "up Pitt Creek without a paddle".

"The problem is, if it wasn't for those improved royalties, if it wasn't for the raids on public servants' superannuation, we'd be in real trouble now following a cyclone like Debbie," Mr Emerson said.

"You don't manage it (the Budget) on a hope, a wish and a prayer."

Meanwhile, Mr Pitt signalled possible help for homebuyers in regional areas.

Rejecting continuing calls to expand the first home buyers grant from new dwellings to ­established homes in regional areas, he said assistance for renovators could be looked at.

News Corp Australia


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