Australian PM vows to bring budget back to surplus in 2012/13

17:59, January 06, 2011      

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Queensland's flood disaster will hit the national economy and spending cuts may be needed to return the budget to surplus on time, Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard warned on Thursday.

Gillard said her government faced some "tough choices" to bring the budget back to surplus as the national economy was hit by the flood disaster.

"I'm determined the budget will be back in surplus in 2012/13 as promised," she told reporters in Perth.

"That does mean that we're going to have to make some tough choices, and we will, to bring the budget back to surplus as well as meeting the needs of Queensland as they recover from this flood crisis ..."

The unprecedented disaster has shut down 40 mines in Queensland and almost two million tones of coal a week is being ripped out of global supply.

Agricultural producers have been devastated, and critical infrastructure ravaged over an area the size of New South Wales.

Small business and personal losses are also enormous, with 200, 000 people and 10,700 properties affected.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has warned of significant economic and social consequences for the nation if public infrastructure is not repaired quickly.

Source: Xinhua
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