Queensland Premier Splashes more Money on Road Projects

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Tuesday, March 15th, 2016
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An extra $500 million will be spent on seven road and rail projects in Queensland as part of the state’s four-year infrastructure plan.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the announcement on Sunday while releasing the government’s $35 billion plan for the Sunshine State.

“This plan delivers certainty, this plan delivers confidence to the business community and it is a clear blueprint for the infrastructure needs of our state,” she said.

Two of the seven projects included in the half a billion dollar State Infrastructure Fund – upgrading the Ipswich Motorway and fixing a bottleneck at the Pacific Motorway-Gateway Motorway merge – are dependent on federal funding.

Ms Palaszczuk said she had this week urged Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to contribute to the upgrades, as well as extra funding for a stadium at Townsville.

She said the additional $500 million investment would be spent on seven critical rail and road projects over the next two years and would create 1000 jobs.

The government’s $35 billion State Infrastructure Plan includes plans for transport, energy, health and education projects to cope with the state’s projected 2.3 per cent population rise over the next 20 years.

Deputy Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek called projects outlined in the plan “rehashed, recycled, and reused”.

“There is nothing new in this plan, Labor have produced a flashy document with little real substance,” he said in a statement.

“The challenge for Labor is not to produce more bits of glossy paper which they are good at but to outline exactly when these infrastructure projects will be delivered and how they will be funded.”

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said the funds were from savings through the government’s debt reduction scheme.

“What we are doing is we are ensuring that there is a guaranteed pipeline of projects for the civil construction,” she said.

The government had chosen a four-year plan over a 30-year plan – which previous governments had opted for – as it provides certainty for the business community, Ms Trad said.

The Brisbane cross-river rail project, which has been in the pipeline for several years, would be considered as part of the state budget.

The overall cost of the infrastructure plan has previously been revealed, but more detail as well as the extra funding for critical projects was revealed on Sunday.

$500M INFRASTRUCTURE FUND WILL BE USED TO UPGRADE:

  • Ipswich Motorway (Darra to Rocklea)
  • Bottleneck at the Pacific Motorway-Gateway Motorway merge
  • Increasing North Coast Line capacity
  • Dawson Highway (Gladstone to Biloela)
  • Rockhampton Road train access
  • Sunshine Coast University Hospital intersection
  • Riverway Drive duplication, Townsville
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