Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk snaps at reporter

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk snaps at reporter
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The Palaszczuk government handed down its state budget on Tuesday, with the premier proudly declaring the fiscal plan a true Labor pledge based on its investment in health, education and housing.

The budget contained a record spend on health to help solve the massive bed shortages plaguing the hospital system as well as a $1.9 billion investment to build more than 6000 houses for the homeless.

But the cash splash on the health sector was not expected to provide the 1500 further beds the industry’s peak body warned was required to solve the shortfall.

And the major investment on welfare falls short of providing a roof for the 25,000 Queensland households on the public housing waitlist.

ABC’s Brisbane anchor Matt Wordsworth pressed the premier on these two issues, saying the reality of the situation didn’t stack up to the budget’s sales pitch.

RELATED: Palaszczuk government splashes on health

“Isn‘t this is a Labor budget, which is health, education and housing?” he said. “You’ve got the health system in crisis and a housing system on waiting lists.”

Annastacia Palaszczuk snapped back: “I don’t accept that.”

“I don’t accept that at all. We’re putting $1.9 billion into housing. $1.9 billion. Tell me which other government around Australia has put $1.9 billion into social housing?”

Treasurer Cameron Dick defended the plan as the largest investment into social housing since World War Two.

“We are now really turbocharging and accelerating that with a $1 billion housing fund and what that does provide for the first time is the income from that fund will be drawn down every year to be focused on social and affordable housing,” he said.

“And that’s something that’s never happened before.”

Elsewhere, the Palaszczuk government’s commitment to social housing was applauded by industry figures with the Queensland Council of Social Service declaring “this budget signals a new approach to housing and homelessness”.

“This is the first step we have been calling for and provides opportunities for the community, government and private sector to work together toward solving a previously intractable problem,” chief executive Aimee McVeigh said.

“The government has effectively tripled its investment into social housing over the next four years.

“The recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic must benefit all Queenslanders and this investment delivers just that — homes and jobs.”

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