The Palaszczuk Government today released Queensland’s first State Infrastructure Plan in more than three years.
Hand-in-hand with that blueprint came a new State Infrastructure Fund with an initial investment of $500 million, which Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said would deliver major projects across the state that would grow jobs, productivity and the economy, including in regional areas.
The government said the long-term State Infrastructure Plan also outlined significant reforms to the way Queensland planned, prioritised and invested in infrastructure.
It follows the establishment of Building Queensland as an independent infrastructure advisor to government and Market Led Proposals to encourage new private sector investment.
However Shadow Infrastructure Minister Tim Nicholls described the new plan as “last night’s dinner reheated”.
After thirteen months, Labor had only produced a document full of recycled projects and a wish list for the Federal Government, he said.
“The Premier has wasted a year without an infrastructure plan and only on Friday calls the Prime Minister to demand he stumps up cash to fix Labor’s infrastructure freeze,” Mr Nicholls said.
Ms Palaszczuk said $300 million of the State Infrastructure Fund would be invested in seven critical road and rail upgrades, to help boost capacity and reliability:
- Ipswich Motorway Upgrade, Stage 1 Darra to Rocklea
- Pacific Motorway-Gateway Motorway Merge Upgrade (southbound lanes)
- North Coast Line Capacity Improvement Project
- Dawson Highway (Gladstone – Biloela) timber bridge replacement package
- Rockhampton Road Train Access, Stage 1
- Kawana and Nicklin Way – Sunshine Coast University Hospital intersection upgrades package
- Riverway Drive duplication, Townsville (Gollogly Lane – Allambie Lane).
“Our initial injection of funds will also target projects that have a clear community need and will help address important regional and economic priorities, including jobs for Queenslanders,” she said.
“We are now calling on the Turnbull Government to match our commitment to infrastructure in Queensland on projects like the Ipswich Motorway, the Pacific Motorway and the North Queensland Stadium as well as a funding commitment to Cross River Rail.”
Deputy Premier and Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Minister Jackie Trad said the State Infrastructure Fund would also allocate up to $20 million to deliver business cases for other priority projects.
“This business case phase is critical to leveraging private sector and federal government investment, through other funding sources like the $5 billion Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility,” Ms Trad said.
“We have also earmarked $180 million to deliver regionally significant infrastructure projects identified by communities for communities.
“We will soon begin work to identify how this $180 million investment can be used most effectively to deliver jobs and grow Queensland’s economy after the resources boom.
“Our $500 million State Infrastructure Fund builds on the Palaszczuk Government’s existing capital budget of $35 billion over four years, which has supported more than 27,500 jobs across Queensland this year alone.”
Ms Trad said the State Infrastructure Plan also outlined a clear, four-year pipeline of projects to provide the private sector with the confidence to invest in people and resources, by knowing what projects will be in market when.
“Providing the private sector with a transparent pipeline of work is vitally important, particularly after the LNP failed to deliver a single infrastructure plan during their three years in government.
“Through the SIP, we now have an infrastructure blueprint that will meet the future demands of our population and deliver economic growth and jobs for Queenslanders year after year through better infrastructure planning and better decision-making.
“We are completely transforming how our state prioritises infrastructure, by taking the politics out of the planning process.
“This was made very clear when we established Building Queensland, to provide our government with independent, expert advice and ensure infrastructure projects government-wide are prioritised based on rigorous business cases, including cost-benefit analyses and community benefits.
“The State Infrastructure Plan will further guide us to deliver the right projects at the right time, and it will also ensure we deliver jobs for Queensland far beyond the mining boom, providing much needed certainty for our construction industry.”
Other key reform measures outlined in the State Infrastructure Plan include:
- Establishing an Infrastructure Cabinet Committee to drive infrastructure coordination and development
- Establishing an Infrastructure Portfolio Office to coordinate and integrate state government infrastructure, land-use and economic planning
- Developing five new strategic infrastructure network plans for Transport, Water, Energy, Digital and Social infrastructure
- Enhancing the government’s ability to fund and finance infrastructure through a focus on value capture and improving alternative funding and financing options in Queensland
- Reviewing fragmented local government infrastructure grants programs to optimise prioritisation; and
- Establishing a joint industry/government Infrastructure Innovation Taskforce, and a Community Infrastructure Reference Group to provide thought leadership through a prioritised program of work.
For more information or to view the State Infrastructure Plan visit dilgp.qld.gov.au/SIP