The budget contains a $1.2 billion surplus for the year, and $6.9 billion in surpluses forecast over next four years. A $10.1 billion program for infrastructure investment was included. This encompassed almost $4 billion committed to infrastructure and capital grants for Queensland’s roads and transport network.
Around $4.8 billion of the overall $10.1 billion for infrastructure in 2015-16 is pegged for regional and remote communities. These initiatives include $200 million for a new Building our Regions program, more than $50 million for drought relief measures, $180 million for a new hospitals refurbishment program and a $40 million western roads funding package. The Government has also decided to bring forward an initial $100 million in funding for the Building our Regions program to this financial year.
The four areas of focus for infrastructure investment
Under the Building our Regions program are:
- Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme, worth $60 million over two years
- Regional Capital Fund, worth $70 million over two years
- Royalties for Resource Producing Communities Fund, with an allocation of $55 million over two years
- Remote Communities Infrastructure Fund, worth $15 million over two years.
Over $18.8 billion will be invested in Queensland’s transport infrastructure in the next four years under the Queensland Transport and Road Investment Program (QTRIP).
The Government says investment in the roads, road safety and maritime component of QTRIP totalled $14.9 billion; this includes $30 million over the next three years to support small marine projects such as boat ramps, pontoons and jetties.
Road project highlights under QTRIP
- $175.9 million in joint funding to widen the Gateway Motorway North to six lanes all the way between Nudgee and Bracken Ridge for a total cost of $1.2 billion
- $172.1 million in joint funding towards the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing – a bypass route to the north of the city from the Warrego Highway at Helidon to the Gore Highway for a total cost of $1.6 billion
- $113.1 million in joint funding towards the duplication of the Bruce Highway from Cooroy to Curra from Cooroy Southern Interchange to Sankey’s Road (Section A) for a total cost of $490 million
- $33.4 million in joint funding to continue building a new elevated crossing on the Bruce Highway across the Yeppen Floodplain, south of Rockhampton, for a total cost of $170 million
- $40 million in State funds over two years to deliver the Western Roads Upgrade Program, comprising 14 regional priority road projects across western Queensland
- $12.9 million in joint funding towards the replacement of timber bridges on the Peak Downs Highway, between Nebo and Mackay for a total cost of around $70 million
Public transport project highlights under QTRIP
- $568.4 million to continue rail network improvements, including building a third track between Lawnton and Petrie stations, commencing the duplication of the Gold Coast line between Coomera and Helensvale station
- $136.8 million in 2015-16 to complete the construction of the Moreton Bay Rail Link, at a total cost of $988 million
Other programs to be delivered under QTRIP
- $635 million in joint funding over five years to upgrade of the Warrego Highway between Toowoomba and Miles
- more than $500 million in joint funding over two years for targeted road safety projects across Queensland
- $260.5 million in joint funding over five years for the Cape York Region Package, to upgrade key roads and other infrastructure to better connect communities in the Cape
- $160.7 million in State funding over three years for the Gold Coast package of road works, in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games
The skills and training space
the Government announced $240 million over four years for the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program. The initiative will aim to get 32,000 Queenslanders back into work through the provision of tailored support, literacy and numeracy skills, work placement training opportunities, and subsidised work placements.
Employers who hire apprentices and trainees will receive a payroll tax rebate of 25 per cent on their wages in addition to their wages being exempt from payroll tax up to June 30 2018. The Government estimates this incentive will cost around $45 million over the next three years.
Read more on the full infrastructure report here.
Despite there being limited spending on new infrastructure, it's good to see the Government is committed to improvements across the nation.With $10,105 billion in capital and 27,500 direct jobs forecasted, opportunities have opened for plant hire companies to get their gear on these infrastructure upgrades.
Make sure you don't miss out on the opportunity by listing your plant hire business on PlantMiner.
Contractors looking to procure hire quotes for the works can do so by submitting a request for quotes through PlantMiner, or by calling us on 1300 550 434 for assistance.