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Budget Politicking Will Not Build Infrastructure

Following the release of the 2019 Federal Budget, QMCA is disappointed to see that political point scoring is more important than collaboration and urges the Queensland and Federal Government to focus on building the infrastructure that our state requires.

Federal Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, announced over $2.6bn for new projects in Queensland including $425 million for Bruce Highway upgrades, $800 million on a Gateway Motorway extension from Bracken Ridge to Pine River, and $287 million for the Cairns Ring Road. With funds not due to be received into Queensland until 2023/24, Deputy Premier and Queensland Treasurer, Jackie Trad, has welcomed the funding but lamented the delay between promises and the reality of funds.

QMCA CEO, Jon Davies, outlined the association’s frustration with politicking and called for more collaboration, “We need to ensure that all levels of government can work together to deliver infrastructure projects. At this moment in time across the whole of the state there is dysfunction between Federal, State and Local Governments. In Brisbane we see squabbles over parcels of land required for Brisbane Metro. Across our road networks we see an imbalance in funding splits, meaning that the M1 will simply not be upgraded at the pace required. On our rail network, Queensland is the only state through which Inland Rail passes where there is not an Inter-Governmental Agreement in place, meaning that there is uncertainty around when the Queensland based projects will be able to commence.”

“One of the reasons QMCA has advocated so hard for increased collaboration and long-term agreements such as the proposed SEQ City Deal, is because it takes the politics out of infrastructure. We have the mechanisms in place through Building Queensland and Infrastructure Australia to analyse projects, construct business cases and to ensure that the state has the infrastructure it needs. These bodies should be utilised to rapidly progress projects to the point where government funding can be agreed, or the private sector can provide a solution to the need. It is time politics got out of the way and common sense prevailed enabling major projects that benefit the greater good and the national interest to be designed, funded, procured and delivered.”

“While we welcome the budget announcements, the reality is that unless governments can work together, it will be little more than an announcement. We would strongly encourage the Queensland and Federal Governments to put party politics aside and to focus on an IGA for Inland Rail, A City Deal for South East Queensland and a fair and reasonable renegotiation of the National Partnership on Roads.”

“Through collaboration we can see funding brought forward and projects fast tracked. As is noted in the 2019 Queensland Major Projects Pipeline Report, we are forecasting a 24% set-back in major project activity in FY20. As this has the potential to cause significant harm to our industry, we would encourage governments to actively work together to bring forward funding wherever possible, to avoid this happening,” said Mr Davies.

Our members.

Acciona Infrastructure Australia
Bielby Holdings
BMD Constructions
Civil Mining and Construction Pty Ltd
CPB Contractors
Decmil Group Limited
Fulton Hogan
Georgiou Group
John Holland
Martinus Rail Pty Ltd
McConnell Dowell
Seymour Whyte Constructions