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Population policy and tax increases needed for Queensland

Queensland’s population growth needs to be managed, possibly via tax increases, a report for the Local Government Association of Queensland concludes.

Queensland Population GrowthProfessor Peter McDonald, Professor of Demography and Director of the Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute at ANU, compiled the report for the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ).

Professor McDonald said that the Inquiry recognised community concerns about the pressures of continuing population growth and impacts on the quality of life.

Professor McDonald has suggested an increase in payroll tax for South East Queensland, using the tax windfall to subsidise tax rates in regional areas in order to encourage businesses and people to move from the SEQLD population centre.

“It may be time for Queensland to move away from boasting that we are the lowest tax state,” Professor McDonald said.

“Incentives and possibly disincentives in south east Queensland may also be required to attract an increased share of the state’s employment growth to regional centres.

“There is some scope for increase in payroll tax overall – a small rise in south east Queensland could offset a drop outside south east Queensland.”

“The Inquiry considers that there is strong support in the community for increasing the proportion of the population living outside SEQ.

“The provision of quality infrastructure and services in regional centres will be a vital element of any strategy to attract a greater proportion of population growth to locations outside SEQ.

“The critical nexus between regional job availability and population growth must be recognised as fundamental in any policy to attract growth to regional Queensland,” he said.

Professor McDonald said the Inquiry considered that the scope, strength and dimensions of the debate about population growth, and its potentially divisive character, justified an explicit statement of Population Policy by the Queensland government. The policy needed to incorporate a comprehensive and on-going review of labour demand by industry and location.

Such a policy would be a mechanism for the state to explain its vision on the way in which Queensland will grow in an environmentally, economically and socially-sustainable manner, he said.

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David Olsen

David Olsen

An undercover economist and a not so undercover geek. Politics, business and psychology nerd and anti-bandwagon jumper. Can be found on Twitter: <a href="http://www.twitter.com/DDsD">David Olsen - DDsD</a>

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