Business School a university for the real world


30 October 2020

The Greens have promised the moon and the costings of the major parties don’t add up, but construction projects stand to benefit the most according to research conducted into Queensland election campaign promises by the QUT Business School.

Dr Annette Quayle and colleagues Yi Wang and Sam Ong from QUT’s Centre for Behavioural Economics, Society and Technology (BEST) have created an Election Spending Tracker Database which has tracked every policy spending announcement throughout the campaign of each major party: Labor, LNP, Greens, Katter Party, United Australia Party and One Nation.

She says the research highlights a lack of transparency from both Labor and the LNP, with both parties vastly understating what their promises will cost.

“Our QUT-BEST Centre policy spending tracker adds each party’s total spending announcements and allows us to compare commitments across each portfolio,” Dr Quayle said.

“Covid-19 has made us almost immune to the eye watering amounts of government spending that are being announced in the public sphere. 

“When political spending announcements start to resemble mobile phone numbers, it is tempting to switch off and assume it's all par for the course of election campaigns. But never have state political parties promised to spend so much with such reckless abandon.

“What we found was total spending announcements over the next four years for each party was as follows: The Greens $81Billion; Labor $14B; LNP $10B; and the Katter Party $2B. The United Australia Party and One Nation do not provide any costs with their policy announcements. 

“Whichever party wins tomorrow (31 October), it would seem construction workers are really the big winners from this election. 



“The Greens promise to spend $33B on building public housing while Labor and the LNP's largest spending commitments go towards roads (Labor $7B and LNP $6.2B).  And although Labor has announced $1.2B in education spending, $1B of this will go towards building more schools and infrastructure.” 

Dr Quayle said they tracked the media announcements of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington across the campaign along with the websites of all major/minor parties, creating a database of every election promise.

Dr Annette Quayle

“Labor and the LNP have released their total election costings and how they are funded, but these costings have not been made publicly available and the details only provided to journalists,” she said.

“This means we cannot explain how Labour has can state that its campaign commitments come to just $4.3B, when we can show they have in fact announced $14.5B over the course of the campaign.

“We also see that the LNP has announced $5B in fully funded, fully costed promises yet our announcement tracker has shown they have announced polices costing $10.5billion. This just does not add up.

“The Greens have been the most transparent about providing details to voters on their website. That said, the $81billion of Greens election announcements are not actually ‘fully funded’ as they claim.

“They tell us they expect to raise $67 billion over the next four years through additional mining royalties, bank levy’s and taxes on developers, which still leaves a $13.9billion shortfall.  To put that shortfall into perspective – that’s pretty much equal to all the Labor party’s election announcements.”

For more information, visit the QUT-BEST Centre Election Spending Tracker Database

Media contact:

Amanda Weaver, QUT Media, 07 3138 3151,

After hours: Rose Trapnell, 0407 585 901,




QUT Business School

  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Postal address:
    QUT Business School
    GPO Box 2434
    Brisbane QLD 4001