Reform to speed up infrastructure and investment in Qld: Fraser

By: Jason Whittaker


Critical time-lines for the construction of transport infrastructure will be slashed after the introduction of new reforms, according to Queensland

Critical time-lines for the construction of transport infrastructure will be slashed after the introduction of new reforms, according to Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser.

Fraser says Cabinet’s approval of reforms to Queensland's competition regulation as well as amendments to the Queensland Competition Authority Act will allow infrastructure and investment to flourish.

The amendments will require the Queensland Competition Authority to make a decision within six months. According to Fraser, the reforms will significantly reduce regulatory timelines.

"This Bill gives a clear directive to the Queensland Competition Authority that the prompt and efficient delivery of necessary infrastructure is front and centre," Fraser says.

"That's particularly important to our major coal export facilities and our coal rail transport infrastructure, especially when you consider our current forecast for 2007-08 coal exports of 173 million tonnes is expected to increase by 19 per cent to 206 million tonnes by 2010."

"By reforming the competition regulatory framework - a decision-making process which can typically take between 12 and 18 months - we are removing the practices that could have been seen as a hindrance to getting infrastructure approved and built."

Fraser says the reforms are the result of the national Competition and Infrastructure Reform Agreement and are being delivered ahead of other jurisdictions.

"The Bill is the outcome of extensive consultation with a wide range of private organisations, public sector agencies and business, industry and resource groups and it widens the options available to the QCA to enable them to take a more targeted, 'best-fit' approach to their advisory and regulatory functions."

The reforms include the introduction of a price monitoring mechanism which will enable the Queensland Competition Authority to report on prices of significant infrastructure whether in private or public hands.

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