The $500 million plan

Posted by Design & Construct on 08-Apr-2016 19:54:06

In Engineering

Queensland – major projects

The State Infrastructure Plan (SIP), released in March 2016, outlines a new strategic direction for the planning, investment and delivery of infrastructure in Queensland.

Almost three-quarters of northern Australia's population live in Queensland and the Queensland Government has identified a range of projects and programs to drive economic growth. The plan is hoped to address the state's future infrastructure needs, by implementing a program of reforms.

The Queensland economy is currently undergoing a period of structural change and diversification, as it transitions from resources and investment towards health, education, professional services and tourism-related industries. Future economic growth in Queensland will benefit from further diversification including opportunities in technology-intensive industries, such as bio-manufacturing and e-health. Such fields have the potential to be significant creators of jobs in the future, as well as becoming leading contributors to the state's economic growth.

Part of the government's infrastructure priorities for planning and investment are:

  • improving prosperity and liveability
  • infrastructure that leads and supports growth and productivity
  • infrastructure that connects communities and markets
  • improving sustainability and resilience

These objectives are consistent with the Queensland Government's objectives for the community which seek to create jobs and a diverse economy, deliver quality frontline services, protect the environment and build safe, caring and connected communities.

To provide an immediate boost to infrastructure investment and increase business confidence, a State Infrastructure Fund (SIF), with an initial investment of $500 million, will be established. This will support the implementation of the SIP and the new fund will focus on infrastructure projects that will enhance productivity, support jobs and will continue to underpin productivity and jobs growth in Queensland.

The new programs being established under the SIF are: Maturing the Infrastructure Pipeline Program ($20 million) aimed at fast tracking early stages of the infrastructure project pipeline. Priority Economic Works and Productivity Program ($300 million) will target productivity support infrastructure that connects communities and markets.

Significant Regional Infrastructure Projects Program ($180 million) is a response to the community's need for increased economic opportunities.

Initial projects to be funded through the Priority Economic Works and Productivity Program include seven major road and rail projects:

  • Stage1, Ipswich Motorway upgrade
  • Pacific Motorway merge upgrade
  • North coast line capacity improvement project
  • Dawson Highway, timber bridge replacement package
  • Stage 1, Rockhampton road train project
  • Sunshine Coast University Hospital intersection upgrades package
  • Riverway Drive duplication, Townsville

In the 12 months prior to the end of January 2016, more than 71,000 new jobs were created in Queensland, with the state government's $10.1 billion capital works program supporting 27,500 jobs.

Deputy Premier and Infrastructure Minister Jackie Trad said the projects would boost jobs and that the projects would mean greater economic growth around key areas of the economy like export and trade. Light construction work is due to commence by the end of this year and then full construction work early next year.

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References:
© The State of Queensland. (2016). Retrieved 5 April, 2016 from http://www.dilgp.qld.gov.au/infrastructure/state-infrastructure-plan.html
© The State of Queensland. (2016). Retrieved 5 April, 2016 from http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2016/3/13/palaszczuk-governments-vision-for-fitzroy-infrastructure-released
© The State of Queensland. (2016). Retrieved 5 April, 2016 from http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2016/3/13/palaszczuk-governments-vision-for-queenslands-infrastructure-released