Flood Prone Queensland Faces New Flood Tax Proposal

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | May 17, 2013 4:33 PM EST

Australia's flood prone state of Queensland is facing a new flood tax proposal.

The Newman-led Queensland Government was reported to be seriously considering imposing a flood levy in next month's budget, which highly baffled the Australian federal government.

"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," Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan said.

David Crisafulli, Local Government Minister, was reported to be discussing the possibility of a five year levy, which if approved will help raise $1 billion over four to five years needed to build flood proof infrastructure in vulnerable areas of the state.

But Mr Swan argued Queensland had already been provided $6 billion by the federal government to cover major floods in recent years, where half of the amount was contained in a Queensland government account.

That amount to date was unspent, he said.

The tax was reported to be slapped or incorporated on household bills such as electricity or water.

"They are going to slug families to do this," Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk was quoted by The Courier Mail. "It is not right, it is not fair."

Scott Emerson, Transport Minister, likewise believed building so-called flood proof infrastructure is a waste of time and money.

"It's not sensible to rebuild things and have them washed away again," Mr Emerson said.

He said the state government had not made a definite decision regarding the planned new tax.

But the proposed additional fund, according to Mr Crisafulli, would deal with things.

"Not just the recovery from disaster, but also building more resilient infrastructure when we do recover," Mr Crisafulli said.

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