The Palaszczuk Government today released Queensland's first State Infrastructure Plan in more than three years, which will drive the Darling Downs' economy and deliver the infrastructure the region needs to grow and generate jobs.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the long-term State Infrastructure Plan committed to significant reforms to the way Queensland plans, prioritises and invests in infrastructure, and it follows the establishment of Building Queensland as an independent infrastructure advisor to government and Market Led Proposals to encourage new private sector investment.
"I made a commitment as Opposition Leader to ensure that Queensland once again had a statewide infrastructure plan, and today we deliver it," the Premier said.
Releasing the Plan today, Premier Palaszczuk and Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government, and Planning Jackie Trad also announced the establishment of a new State Infrastructure Fund, with an initial investment of $500 million, including $180 million for a 'Significant Regional Infrastructure Projects Program' which will deliver regionally significant infrastructure projects identified by communities for communities.
"Through this Program, we want to hear from regional communities about the infrastructure projects which will address a community need or stimulate additional economic and job growth for their area," Ms Trad said.
"We will soon begin work to identify how this $180 million investment can be used most effectively to deliver jobs and grow Queensland's economy after the resources boom."
Ms Trad said the State Infrastructure Plan also outlined a clear, four-year pipeline of projects to provide the private sector with the confidence to invest in people and resources by knowing what projects will be in market when.
"Providing the private sector with a transparent pipeline of work is vitally important, particularly after the LNP failed to deliver a single infrastructure plan during their three years in government," Ms Trad said.
"Through the SIP, the Darling Downs region now has an infrastructure blueprint and a clear four-year pipeline of work that will meet the future demands of the area's population, and deliver economic growth and jobs year after year."
Infrastructure projects over the next four years for the Darling Downs region include:
· Toowoomba Second Range Crossing
· Warrego Highway Upgrade Program.
Ms Trad said State Infrastructure Plan completely transformed the way the state prioritises infrastructure, by taking the politics out of the planning process.
"Through this plan, we're removing politics from the infrastructure planning process, and focusing on what's important - better infrastructure planning, quality decision-making and creating jobs for Queenslanders," Ms Trad said.
"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 SIP will further guide us to deliver the right projects at the right time, and it will also ensure we deliver jobs for Queensland far beyond the mining boom, providing much needed certainty for our construction industry."
Other key reform measures outlined in the State Infrastructure Plan include:
· Establishing an Infrastructure Cabinet Committee to drive infrastructure coordination and development
· Establishing an Infrastructure Portfolio Office to coordinate and integrate state government infrastructure, land-use and economic planning
· Developing five new strategic infrastructure network plans for Transport, Water, Energy, Digital and Social infrastructure
· Enhancing the government's ability to fund and finance infrastructure through a focus on value capture and improving alternative funding and financing options in Queensland
· Reviewing fragmented local government infrastructure grants programs to optimise prioritisation; and
· Establishing a joint industry/government Infrastructure Innovation Taskforce, and a Community Infrastructure Reference Group to provide thought leadership through a prioritised program of work.
For more information or to view the State Infrastructure Plan visit dilgp.qld.gov.au/SIP