Reports from Queensland, Australia, suggest that the State Government there is planning to introduce a special tax in order to be able to finance flood protection projects.
The projects could include new levees and dams, as well as improving and strengthening any existing flood protection infrastructure. More significantly it will also enable the state top move vital or vulnerable infrastructure to higher areas. Moving infrastructure such as sewage treatment plants and transport infrastructure like some roads and bridges may seem overly drastic. However, repairs were made to much of the infrastructure after the 2010 floods, only for them to be suffer severe damage once again in subsequent flooding and storms. The state has been battered by natural disasters seemingly non-stop since 2010, seeing some of the worst floods on record.
The budget for the State of Queensland will be announced in June 2013, and it is then that the new tax is expected to be introduced. It is believed to involve a tax on household bills, utility bills such as electricity and water, in order to raise the 1 billion dollars required for the flood protection projects. Apparently there is currently a budget of $80 million, which, according to the Queensland government, is far from enough to pay for the necessary projects. This figure is likely to be disputed however.
There has been some questioning of the planned tax by the Federal Government, which has given Queensland $6 Billion AUS to help with recent disasters.
Treasurer Wayne Swan said:
“I’m somewhat puzzled as to why they would turn around and try and seek to impose an additional tax on Queenslanders for the floods when we have given such significant money to Queensland over recent years,”