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Queensland unveils $13.9B infrastructure investment plan

A $17.6 billion stimulus package has been announced for businesses and households to deal with challenges posed by the spread of the coronavirus.

Details have been released about the Queensland Government’s $13.9 billion infrastructure investment for 2020-21, which forms part of the state’s plan to support jobs and recover economically.

The capital program includes $6.1 billion in transport infrastructure projects across Queensland including the Ports of Gladstone and Townsville, Cross River Rail, Bruce Highway, Pacific and Ipswich motorways.

Health facilities will also see a share of investments, with $70 million going towards the redevelopment of Cairns Hospital mental health facilities.

More than $16 million will go towards ambulance stations at Ormeau, Yarrabilba, Munruben and Urraween.

Around $20 million will go towards the Queensland Apprenticeships Centre at Beenleigh to deliver training for high demand industries such as renewable hydrogen.

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Investments will also be made into public safety, such as $16.9 million for Queensland Fire and Emergency Services’ regional headquarters at Charlton, near Toowoomba, and the $52.2 million Wacol Counter-Terrorism and Community Training Centre, as well as new and upgraded fire and police stations around the state.

Treasurer and Infrastructure and Planning Minister Cameron Dick said this year’s capital program re-affirmed Government’s infrastructure guarantee, and was expected to directly support around 44,000 jobs.

“The Capital Program 2020 Update includes $13.9 billion in infrastructure spending across the state and is aimed at keeping people in jobs, driving our recovery and securing Queensland’s longer-term prosperity,” Dick said.

“Our Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs strategy for economic recovery has a strong focus on infrastructure, because we know that infrastructure will drive our state’s recovery, future prosperity and resilience.

“Today’s capital program update reinforces our commitment to a $51.8 billion program of work over four years and gives the private sector confidence to invest in Queensland.

Almost 900 initiatives across transport, energy, water, health, education and training, digital, justice and public safety, social housing, the arts, culture, sport and recreation are detailed in the update.

Around 60 per cent of the total $13.9 billion investment will be spent outside of Greater Brisbane.

Dick said the capital program built upon the State Government’s support for the building and property development industries through stimulus measures and initiatives including the:

  • $51.8 billion Infrastructure Guarantee
  • $200 million Building Acceleration Fund
  • $50 million SEQ community stimulus program
  • $400 million Accelerated Works Program
  • $200 million Works for Queensland COVID-19 Recovery Package
  • $100 million Housing Construction – Works for Tradies, and
  • reducing red tape and streamlining planning approvals for construction.

“This Government is focused on getting our state’s economy back on its feet and building a stronger and more resilient economy,” he said.

“Working in partnership with the private sector to invest and build vital infrastructure strengthening industries, supporting jobs and enabling future growth is vital to achieving our goals.”

Infrastructure Association of Queensland (IAQ) Chief Executive Officer Priscilla Radice welcomed the release of the Government’s Capital Program 2020 Update.

“In our recent 2020 IAQ survey, having a clear pipeline of work was identified by our members as the most pressing issue,” Radice said.

“The infrastructure update gives industry visibility of the government’s continuing significant investment which is exactly what is needed to build confidence, help with workforce planning and grow the economy.

“We know that for every $1 the government spends on infrastructure the private sector spends $13, creating jobs now and long-term economic benefits into the future.”

Master Builders Deputy CEO Paul Bidwell says this is a strong increase of $1 billion on last year’s commitment.

“Given the current circumstances, it was vital spending be increased and we are pleased the Queensland Government has delivered on that front,” Bidwell said.

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