Queensland a winner from infrastructure investment

Media Release

WT127/2015

06 May 2015

Next week's Federal Budget will deliver the second tranche of the Australian Government's $50 billion Infrastructure Investment Programme.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss, in Rockhampton for Beef Week 2015, said safeguarding Queensland's future through infrastructure investment was critical to a prosperous state and nation.

“The Australian Government has embarked on an ambitious programme of investment to support Queensland industries that generate goods to domestic and international markets, including resources from mining operations and agricultural products,” Mr Truss said.

“In turn, these investments help families and entire communities to thrive by playing to Australia's strengths.

“Our commitment to fixing the Bruce Highway sees $6.7 billion committed under our 10-year Fix the Bruce Highway plan. This includes major projects such as the duplication between Cooroy and Curra and construction of the Mackay Ring Road.

“Brisbane has seen continued progress towards an upgraded Gateway Motorway, with the Gateway Motorway North project receiving $929.6 million in funding as part of the 2014 Budget.

“Outside Brisbane, the Australian Government has also committed up to $1.28 billion towards delivering the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing, supporting the movement of heavy freight vehicles and sustaining up to 1,800 jobs.

“Other projects include upgrades to the Warrego Highway between Toowoomba and Miles, which received $508 million and will deliver a wider and safer road; and $208.4 million towards the Cape York Region Package, improving accessibility to Cape York for the local community, and producing flow-on benefits to local industry, including mining.”

Mr Truss said the Roads to Recovery programme had delivered important funding for maintaining local roads, which will facilitate greater access for Australians and improved safety, economic and social outcomes.

“Under Roads to Recovery, the Australian Government is committing $350 million a year—with the coming 2015–16 financial year doubling annual funding to $700 million,” Mr Truss said.

“What this has meant for Queensland councils is an extra $142.4 million, providing certainty for local councils in delivering important infrastructure upgrades for residents.”

With the annual economic cost of road crashes estimated at $27 billion per year, Mr Truss said delivering road safety upgrades would not only reduce the impact on the economy, it would save lives.

“The untold grief of a bad road accident on friends and family is significant, and the Black Spot Programme is a core part of the Australian Government's plan to improve road safety, with $101.5 million committed over the five years between 2014–15 and 2018–19,” Mr Truss said.

“This includes an additional $40.6 million over the two years 2015–16 to 2016–17 under the Infrastructure Growth Package, ensuring motorists get to their destinations safely, and no unnecessary lives are lost.”

With the Australian Government focussed on improving productivity in local communities, the Australian Government has committed $300 million over five years from 2014–15 to the Bridges Renewal Programme (BRP), as well as the delivery of the $200 million Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Programme (HVSPP).

Mr Truss said Queensland had received a significant amount of funding earlier this year when the Bridges to Renewal programme was announced, with $52.4 million in funding delivered for 17 bridge projects.

“Many heavy vehicle operators rely on bridges for a quick and reliable trip, and this investment will ensure both local motorists and freight companies get to their destinations quickly.

“Another initiative is the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Programme (HVSPP). This programme is improving productivity and safety outcomes of heavy vehicle operations across Australia, through funding infrastructure projects.

“The Australian Government has committed $200 million in new funding over five years from 2014–15.

“The Australian Government is also providing $2.3 billion of untied funding to local government under the Financial Assistance Grant programme, with Queensland councils receiving $453.1 million to spend on local priorities.”