Qld’s infrastructure refocus

Queensland Government’s new approach to infrastructure should lead to beneficial projects

The establishment of a new independent body Building Queensland, to advise on infrastructure decision making based on community benefit should lead to better infrastructure decisions, and counter the temptation to favour projects that will be popular with voters in the state.

The creation of independent body Building Queensland is an attempt to take the politics out of the new infrastructure planning process.

"We are completely transforming how our state prioritises infrastructure," Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says.

"This was made very clear when we established Building Queensland, to provide our government with independent, expert advice and ensure infrastructure projects government-wide are prioritised based on rigorous business cases, including cost-benefit analyses and community benefits."

The creation of Building Queensland preceded Queensland Government’s recently released $500 million State Infrastructure Plan to upgrade roads and rail.

"Our initial injection of funds will target projects that have a clear community need and will help address important regional and economic priorities, including jobs for Queenslanders," Palaszczuk says.

"We are now calling on the Turnbull Government to match our commitment to infrastructure in Queensland on projects like the Ipswich Motorway, the Pacific Motorway and the North Queensland Stadium as well as a funding commitment to Cross River Rail."

A key aim of the first State Infrastructure Plan is to create a dedicated infrastructure project fund and structure that is likely to attract more private investment in the future.

Minister for infrastructure and planning Jackie Trad says the State Infrastructure Fund will also allocate up to $20 million to deliver business cases for other priority projects.

"This business case phase is critical to leveraging private sector and Federal Government investment, through other funding sources like the $5 billion Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility," she says.

"We have also earmarked $180 million to deliver regionally significant infrastructure projects identified by communities for communities and will soon begin work to identify how this can be used most effectively."

The bulk of the $500 million will be used to upgrade large and busy sections of vital motorways throughout Queensland.

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