Consideration of Auditor-General Report 10: 2023-24 - Managing Queensland's Debt and Investments 2023


Role of the Auditor-General 

The role of the Auditor-General is to provide parliament with independent assurance of public sector accountability and performance. This is achieved through reporting to parliament on the results of its financial and performance audits and other insights.

About the Auditor-General Report


Auditor-General Report 10: 2023-24—Managing Queensland’s debt and investments 2023

The Auditor-General’s report to Parliament 10: 2023-24—Managing Queensland’s debt and investments 2023 outlines the results of a Queensland Audit Office (QAO) financial audit examining how the Queensland Government is managing its debt and investments.

In undertaking the audit, the QAO examined the 2022-23 financial statements of the Queensland Treasury, Queensland Treasury Corporation and QIC Limited. 

In addition to considering the overall debt and investment picture of these entities, the QAO sought to:

  • analyse financial performance and recent transactions relating to the government’s debt and investments
  • provide insights into the risks associated with debt and investments and how government entities respond to these risks.

The report did not include any recommendations, but sought to highlight the following overall audit findings and insights: 

  • In 2022–23, net debt (financial liabilities minus financial assets) decreased, as it did in 2021-22. However, as revenue from royalties reduces and debt is used for significant government initiatives, net debt is expected to increase.
  • In recent years, the economic impacts of COVID-19 and other events, such as the war in Ukraine, have caused additional volatility across investment portfolios. However, there has been a slight increase in the fair value of investments (the price at which they could be sold) in 2022–23 due to stronger investment returns (compared to 2021–22).
  • The Queensland Future Fund – Debt Retirement Fund, which was established in 2020-21 to help provide funding for the debt or provide more assets to support the debt position, received earnings from its investments. The value of the fund has increased from $7.718 billion as at 30 June 2022 to $8.336 billion as at 30 June 2023.
  • In October 2022, the government increased the investment in its Housing Investment Fund (the fund) to $2 billion. The investment returns will be used to support a revised target of 5,600 social and affordable homes commenced by 30 June 2027. The $2 billion investment is held in the Consolidated Fund (the government’s central bank account) and managed by QIC Limited. The Department of Housing, Local Government, Planning and Public Works (the department) will receive $130 million in appropriation funding per year to deliver the Housing Investment Fund’s planned targets.

Referral to Committee 

Standing Order 194B provides that the Committee of the Legislative Assembly shall, as soon as practicable after a report of the Auditor-General is tabled in the Assembly, refer that report to the relevant portfolio committee(s) for consideration. 

The Cost of Living and Economics Committee (committee) is responsible under section 94 of the Parliament of Queensland Act 2001 for assessing the integrity, economy, efficiency and effectiveness of government financial management by examining government financial documents and considering reports of the Auditor-General.

The Committee of the Legislative Assembly referred this Auditor-General’s report to the committee on 7 March 2024.

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