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Reducing south-east congestion, upgrading hospitals and expanding north Queensland infrastructure are the top priorities of the state budget due to be officially unveiled next month.
Notable inclusions were funding for Bruce Highway and M1 upgrades, Cross River Rail, Cairns Convention Centre and Townsville Port expansions and construction of Townsville Stadium.
However, the duplication of the Sunshine Coast rail line and construction of a second M1, which the LNP opposition has prioritised, have missed out in the Labor budget.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Treasurer Jackie Trad announced on Sunday $45 billion over four years would be put towards the state's infrastructure and support 38,000 jobs annually.
"This is nine times more than Malcolm Turnbull is giving Queensland from Canberra," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"We have an infrastructure project that is for all of Queensland, building on the infrastructure projects needed for our growing state.
"As the Deputy Premier said yesterday, we've reached 5 million [population], we need to make sure we have the infrastructure that is needed for Queensland's growing future."
Other projects factored into this year's budget include the expansion of Ipswich, Caboolture and Logan hospitals, the troublesome New Generation Rollingstock trains which were still being paid off, as well as stage three of the Gold Coast Light Rail project.
"As Queensland transitions to a more innovative, diverse and production economy, it is vital that our infrastructure maximises our opportunities and provides long-term sustainable benefits," Ms Trad said.
"We are spending dollars in communities that need it, whether for economic development or to cater for population growth and deliver front-line services that Queenslanders need.
"We are very excited about this announcement here today because we know for too long Queenslanders have been calling on governments to make the infrastructure investment ahead of when congestion and crisis looms and with today's announcement we are doing just that."
However, LNP Deputy Leader Tim Mander said Labor was playing catch-up with infrastructure funding and M1 upgrades alone would not fix congestion between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
"The current government is playing catch-up with regards to its infrastructure funding, they have underspent infrastructure by around $3 billion per year over last three or four years and that's why we have crowded schools, not enough hospital beds and our roads are congested," he said.
Mr Mander said the LNP had a $3.1 billion plan to reduce south-east congestion.
It included $1 billion for an M1 upgrade to match the federal government pledge and $130 million for six lanes to be constructed on the Bruce Highway between Caboolture and Caloundra.
The opposition also vowed to use $250 million to build an extra M1 between Stapylton and Nerang, which was described as a 36-kilometre bottleneck, alongside the current motorway.
"These projects will not only create thousands of jobs, they will help reduce the congestion south-east Queensland motorists are currently suffering and bring some relief to drivers," Mr Mander said.
Labor will officially deliver the full Queensland budget on June 12.
This article first appeared on www.brisbanetimes.com.au
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