QMCA has welcomed the release of Building Queensland’s Infrastructure Pipeline report and praises the transparency shown in detailing government infrastructure pipeline planning in Queensland.
Unfortunately for the sector, however, the pipeline is short on activity that is likely to develop into projects, employment and much-needed infrastructure.
QMCA CEO Jon Davies, “We welcome the report and the efforts of Building Queensland to analyse each project on its merits and to develop business cases, but the reality is that Building Queensland is not being provided with an appropriate number of projects to work on. This is evidenced by that comparative lack of Queensland projects that have been submitted to Infrastructure Australia for prioritisation.”
“We have also seen delays from Government in acting on the business cases developed to date. A prime example would be Brisbane Live! which was heralded as a fantastic initiative and has sat with Government for close to one year. The Lake MacDonald Dam Improvement Project has been under consideration for a similar time frame, contractors have been asked to tender – at considerable expense – and the project has not progressed.”
“What the report shows is that Queensland will continue to fall further behind New South Wales and Victoria in infrastructure spending if more projects are not submitted for consideration. As a proportion of state expenditure, we have been overtaken by South Australia and Tasmania in infrastructure spending, much to the detriment of business, communities and the development of our state.”
“In Queensland, an even bigger challenge than the identification of projects or the requirement for improved infrastructure is the current impasse between the State and Federal Governments over which projects should receive funding. The constant bickering results in Queensland missing out whilst other states press ahead, including Labor held Victoria.”
In addition to government delays, QMCA calls into question the development of business cases for projects that will never see the light of day if infrastructure is continued to be used as a political football at a Federal and State Level.
“The Morrison and Palaszczuk government need to stop playing games and to start collaborating on the infrastructure projects that need to be prioritised, funded and delivered for the people of Queensland.”
“We need to see the squabbling cease over funding and timing of funding for Cross River Rail, Bruce Highway and M1 Upgrades, Rookwood Weir, Gold Coast Light Rail and Beerburrum to Nambour Rail, and for all tiers of government to work together with industry to help build the infrastructure the state needs.”
“Building Queensland should be praised for their commitment and efforts, but the reality is that they can only do so much, Government needs to act and to do so quickly to ensure that businesses cases developed are progressed and funded,” said Mr Davies