Glen Elmes says have your say on how to tackle Queensland's unprecedented debt problem

The Noosa community can have its say how to address the State’s major debt issue.

Member for Noosa, Glen Elmes has invited the Noosa community to respond to a first-time-in-Australia campaign by the Treasurer, Tim Nicholls.

“The unprecedented Strong Choices campaign is in direct response to the unprecedented scale of the State’s debt which now drains $4 billion in interest repayments every year. It demands an unprecedented response if this debt burden is to be brought under control,” Mr Elmes said.

Every Queenslander has the chance now to design their own debt reduction strategy and deliver the results to the Queensland Government as part of the Strong Choices discussion.

“The Treasurer has launched an interactive People’s Budget website tool as the next step in continuing the conversation with Queenslanders on the Strong Choices we face to secure our future and pay down the $80 billion in debt accumulated over the last ten years.

“We have called this the Strong Choices campaign because that’s what is now necessary to reduce the $80 billion debt and the $4 billion annual interest burden it places on all Queenslanders,” Mr Elmes said.

“To pay down this debt, Queenslanders face three choices – significantly increased taxes, reduced services or the sale or lease of some assets.

“This unprecedented level of community consultation and communication will enable every Queenslander who wants to take part to have the opportunity to provide detailed feedback on exactly what their priorities for the State are and to make their own choices as to how they would reduce the State’s debt,” Mr Elmes said.

“This interactive tool, an Australian-first, makes the Budget accessible and gives people a real understanding of the issues facing our state highlighting exactly how our current $4 billion a year interest bill could be put to better use.

“The People’s Budget process is a key way we’re gathering feedback from across the state while other ways are through community forums, Virtual Town Hall meetings and round-tables with community leaders which the Treasurer is continuing with in cities and towns around Queensland.

“Firstly, with regard to the People’s Budget, members of the Noosa community, like all other Queenslanders, can go online at: www.StrongChoices.qld.gov.au

“Secondly, they can also participate in a community forum. The nearest will be at the Lake Kawana Community Centre, 114 Sportsman Parade, Bokarina on Wednesday 23 April 2014 from 5.30 pm until 8 pm. This will inform them before they make their on-line submission. To register for this forum simply go to: www.treasury.qld.gov/comunityforums

“Thirdly, they have the opportunity to participate via the Strong Choices booths which will be at the Noosa Civic Shopping Centre in Eenie Creek Road, Noosaville from 6 May to 10 May and at the Noosa Fair Shopping Centre in Lanyana Way, Noosa Junction from 12 May to 15 May to assist them to make their on-line submission.

“However, the key message is have your say, be involved. This is a vital issue for all Queenslanders,” Mr Elmes said.