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The Queensland Government has released its 2020-21 State Budget, highlighting a record roads and transport spend, and outlining a plan for economic recovery from COVID-19.
The Budget will see $26.9 billion support 23,600 jobs over the next four years, as part of the state’s economic recovery plan.
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said building on record investment and projects like the $1.6 billion Toowoomba Bypass, the $497 million Mackay Ring Road, M1 upgrades in Logan and on the Gold Coast, and Peninsula Developmental Road upgrades, as well as a $12.6 billion jointly-funded Bruce Highway plan, the government would lock in a four-year pipeline of works to charge the state’s COVID-19 recovery.
Mr Bailey said the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program (QTRIP) 2020-21 to 2023-24 highlighted the Queensland Government’s commitment to key infrastructure projects across the state and reflected recently announced road upgrade projects as part of the Queensland Government’s COVID-19 economic recovery response.
Key road projects (including jointly funded investments with the Federal Government) include:
Key rail projects (including some investments jointly funded with the Federal Government) include:
Public transport infrastructure
Other public transport infrastructure highlights (including some investments jointly funded with the Federal Government) include:
Significant active transport infrastructure projects (including some investments jointly funded with the Federal Government and local governments) include:
Marine infrastructure projects include:
More jobs in the pipeline
Mr Bailey said that over the next four years, major projects like the $1 billion Gympie Bypass, $480 million Bruce Highway upgrade between Edmonton and Gordonvale and close to $2 billion in M1 upgrades would be completed as many of the state’s largest ever jobs and infrastructure projects would commence.
“Not only will we build Queensland’s biggest rail project, Cross River Rail, Queensland trains will be built by Queenslanders in Maryborough,” Mr Bailey said.
“We have committed a $1 billion rail manufacturing pipeline to lock in long term stable manufacturing jobs in Maryborough and supply chains across Queensland, including in Rockhampton.
“Building on our current and future M1 upgrades, our $1.5 billion second M1 – a 16.1km alternative from the AFL stadium at Cararra to the Marine Precinct at Coomera will start next year.
“The Gold Coast’s iconic blue and yellow trams will make their way to Burleigh Heads with our $709 million third stage of light rail underway.
“We’ll see 662 local jobs come on line with six-laning between Caboolture and the Sunshine Coast and more than 800 local jobs with the $1 billion Rocky Ring Road.
“We’ll boost the inland freight route from Charters Towers to the New South Wales border, improving efficiency for our freight industry and taking heavy vehicles off the Bruce.
“That’s part of a $15 billion investment in regional roads, transport and statewide programs, backing 13,500 regional jobs.”
Mr Bailey said more bike lanes and rail trails would also be built, including the Cairns Southern Access Cycleway, Bundaberg to Gin Gin Rail Trail and Sunshine Coast hinterland bike trail.
The coastal shipping industry will also receive a boost, with a $21 million commitment to get more local crews on ships, support a new shipping service between Townsville and Brisbane, and more maritime skills and training.
“This budget means thousands of secure jobs for Queenslanders,” Mr Bailey said.
“It means improving productivity for our economy, and better safety for those travelling throughout Queensland.”
Mr Bailey said the Bruce Highway remained a major focus, with 33 major projects currently underway and continued delivery of the jointly funded $12.6 billion, 15-year upgrade program, including a State-funded $100 million boost, helping to improve safety, flood immunity and capacity along this important link between Brisbane and Cairns.
He said QTRIP included $280 million over four years for the Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme (TIDS) to support jobs and improve and maintain the local transport network across Queensland.
“This is a commitment to provide certainty of funding for local governments, which is critical to improving and maintaining the local transport network across this diverse state,” Mr Bailey said.
“This funding is vital for local councils to support their works programs and local jobs.
Mr Bailey said $1.18 billion was allocated to targeted road safety programs, which was critical to reducing road trauma and savings lives.
“Every death on the road is a tragedy and we are committed to saving lives and reducing the impact on the community,” Mr Bailey said.
Paving the way for economic recovery in the regions
Included in the State Budget was Queensland’s Economic Recovery plan, expected to create economic development opportunities and jobs across regional Queensland.
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, Steven Miles, said the Budget was a jobs budget.
“The global COVID-19 pandemic has put immense pressure on our regional economies,” Mr Miles said.
“This Budget reflects our continuing efforts to support and promote job creation in getting our economy up and running and to ensure more Queenslanders get back to work.
“We’re investing more than $62 million ($62.4 million) to continue the Building our Regions program for 2020-21 as part of the overall $332 million program to deliver infrastructure grants to local councils,” Mr Miles said.
“The Palaszczuk Government is investing $42.5 million to help build the East Bundaberg Flood Levee to protect the people of Bundaberg who have suffered enough through devastating floods in the past.
“Construction of the levee is expected to support 679 jobs over three years of construction.
“The budget includes key components of Queensland’s Economic Recovery Plan.
“Including $200 million over two years ($180 million in 2020–21) for the COVID Works for Queensland Program which provided funding to 77 local governments for 520 projects to build productive infrastructure.
“And, $100 million over four years ($45 million in 2020–21) for the SEQ Community Stimulus Package to fast-track investment in new infrastructure and community assets.
“This is in addition to $34 million in 2020–21 for the government’s signature Works for Queensland program that is delivering infrastructure and creating jobs across regional Queensland
“These programs are supporting jobs and providing economic stimulus to local economies right across the state.”
Assistant Minister for Local Government, Nikki Boyd, said the government was committed to supporting local councils after a difficult year through COVID-19.
“This budget includes funding to support Local Governments, deliver key local projects and create jobs,” Ms Boyd said.
“We are delivering on our election commitments including more than $3 million for the Douglas and Mareeba Splash Parks and $50,000 for one of the Far North’s premier gathering places – the Cairns Showgrounds – to assist its planning efforts.
“We’re also providing funding to improve water supply and security in regional councils.
“This year we’re investing $ 7.5 million toward the Haughton Pipeline Stage 2 now being delivered with an overall four-year budget allocation of $195 million.
“This project will see the existing pipeline extended from the Haughton River to the Burdekin River and will include the construction of a pump station, high voltage power supply infrastructure, and includes proof of performance testing of the combined pipeline stages to create a complete water transfer system.
“The Haughton Pipeline project will improve water security in Townsville and is creating hundreds of local jobs.
“Additional funding of $10 million has been provided to the Burdekin Shire Council to improve Ayr Water Supply by building new infrastructure and more than $4 million for the construction of new drinking water storage reservoirs for Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council.”
Other major capital grant programs with 2020–21 funding include:
“As always these grant programs are much sought-after and we look forward to continuing to work with councils to jointly play our part in keeping the Queensland economy moving, especially in our regions,” Ms Boyd said.
This article first appeared on infrastructuremagazine.com.au
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