The Queensland Government last week released the State Infrastructure Plan and announced the establishment of a new State Infrastructure Fund, with an injection of $500 million, to deliver new infrastructure.
The long-term State Infrastructure Plan outlines significant reforms to the way Queensland plans, prioritises and invests in infrastructure, and follows the establishment of Building Queensland as an independent infrastructure advisor to government and Market Led Proposals to encourage new private sector investment.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the State Infrastructure Fund included an initial investment of $500 million to deliver major projects across the state that will grow jobs, productivity and the economy, including in regional areas.
The Premier 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; and
- Riverway Drive duplication, Townsville (Gollogly Lane – Allambie Lane).
Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning 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.”
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.
“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.
“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.
More information about the State Infrastructure Plan is available from the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning website at <http://dilgp.qld.gov.au/SIP>.
Source: News Release, Urbanalyst, 21, March, 2016