Queensland budget 2024: the biggest winners and losers

<span>Here is a breakdown of the winners and losers in treasurer Cameron Dicks’s 2024 Qld state budget.</span><span>Photograph: Jono Searle/AAP</span>
Here is a breakdown of the winners and losers in treasurer Cameron Dicks’s 2024 Qld state budget.Photograph: Jono Searle/AAP

The Queensland government’s pre-election budget is aimed squarely at the hip pocket.

This year’s budget is built around a series of cost-of-living handouts for the “ordinary” Queenslander, including cheaper public transport and power.

Here is a breakdown of the winners and losers in Queensland’s 2024 state budget.


Households, commuters and first home buyers

The premier, Steven Miles, and the treasurer, Cameron Dick, will hand $11.2bn in concessions to Queenslanders in this year’s budget. This is 31% greater than last year.

Related: Queensland state budget 2024: 50c fares and $1,000 energy rebates favoured over surplus in pre-election spend

That includes a series of headline-grabbing plans, such as a six-month “trial” of 50c public transport fares, across the state’s system.

It also means 20% discounts for car registration – and $1,000 back on power bills, and a freeze on all other fees and charges.

But much of the sugar hit expires early next year – just after election day. On budget day, both Dick and Miles denied the spend had anything at all to do with this year’s election.

The government is also increasing the threshold for first home buyer stamp duty concessions by $200,000 to properties valued under $700,000.

Police and prisons

Amid concern about crime in Queensland, the government is spending more than $1.2bn on community safety initiatives.

Some of the money will go toward initiatives to prevent young people from offending or reoffending. Most of that money goes to police and prisons.

Money has been allocated to build a new youth remand centre at Wacol and a new youth detention centre at Woodford. There is more than $480m over four years to fund 900 new police officers, money for new police helicopters, and support for victims of crime.

The environment

The government is investing $26b in a brand new green power system for the state.

It includes billions for new power lines – including $1.06bn for CopperString 2032, which will connect Mt Isa to the grid – and state-owned projects such as a 2.3GW portfolio of renewable energy in central Queensland.

Related: Queensland government to fuel state’s transition to renewable energy with $26bn investment

It also includes $7bn towards state-owned pumped hydro, including $6bn for the Borumba scheme over the construction period and $1bn for the Pioneer-Burdekin scheme.

The budget doesn’t include a final cost estimate for the enormous Pioneer-Burdekin hydro project in north Queensland, billed as the world’s biggest battery. It is still estimated to cost just $12bn, substantially less than the smaller Borumba project, which will cost more than $14bn.


The government is expected to spend $107.3bn on infrastructure over the next four years.

Its gigantic “Big Build” capital plan includes transport infrastructure such as Cross River Rail, housing supply, new health facilities and venues for the Olympics.

Either way, it means plenty of work for tradies.

The annual capital program is expected to peak in 2025–26 at $29.4bn before spending declines 19% the following year.


Public servants

The state government is looking to claw back $3bn from public servants over four years to 2027-28.

Though the treasurer has vowed “not one public servant will lose their job”, they may lose perks including business travel and external consultants – or be forced to work from home.

“I think we need to look afresh at all sorts of working arrangements for public servants … but it also might be not working in the Brisbane CBD,” Dick said on Tuesday.

The government will also not contract for new advertising after August, other than for public safety or job ads.

Budget bottom line

Queensland’s state government was once flush with coal revenue – even as others went deep into the red during the pandemic.

In 2023-23, the state ran a $13.9bn surplus.

But with minerals prices declining “sharply” in recent weeks, government revenue is anticipated to shrink over the next 12 months, and level out the year after that.

Debt is expected to hit a peak of $103.2bn in 2026–27, which is $6.5bn higher than in the 2023–24 budget update.

Dick said the state will still be in a much better position than peers Victoria and New South Wales, with 57% net debt in Queensland compared to 97% and 171%.

Potential migrants

More than 134,700 people have moved to Queensland in the last four years, and the state is feeling growing pains.

The treasurer said forecasters were taken entirely by surprise by the “unanticipated” and “unprecedented” explosion, comparing the growth to adding a second city the size of Mackay.

Much of the increase came from overseas, particularly in 2023.

Related: Victorian state budget 2024: airport train delayed and sick leave for casuals scrapped in bid to rein in debt

But a reduction in the migration intake at the commonwealth level – lobbied for by Miles – is set to change all this.

The budget assumes the heat will come out of population growth in the future, with population easing from 2.5% in 2023-24 to 1.5% for the next two years.

The government is hoping this will help the state manage its housing market back from crisis into health.

To be determined


The opposition is well ahead in the polls. But the opposition leader, David Crisafulli, has so far aimed to keep a low profile, avoiding any large commitments.

The government’s budget heaps additional pressure on the opposition to come up with their own plan. The treasurer all but dared Crisafulli to vote against part of the budget this morning, as they did in opposition – aiming to flush him out on its revenue measures.

In an unusual move, Miles used a Queensland day speech last week to attack the Liberal National party leader as “effectively trying to say to Queenslanders, you can have a Labor government just without the Labor party. I don’t think anyone’s going to fall for that”.

On Thursday, he will give a highly anticipated hour-long budget reply address. The alternative premier will have to chart out an alternative course for Queensland.

It’s yet to be seen if the can bear the pressure as election day looms.