Key Points:

The Queensland Government has released for consultation a new 20 year Queensland Infrastructure Plan for the entire State.

The Queensland Government has released for consultation a new 20 year Queensland Infrastructure Plan for the entire State.

The new Queensland Infrastructure Plan (QIP) will act as the foundation document by which infrastructure investment decisions will be made in Queensland for the next 20 years. The plan provides a high-level picture of the State's key infrastructure requirements. It replaces the previous South East Queensland Infrastructure Plan and Program (SEQIPP) and the Far North Queensland Infrastructure Plan (FNQIP) to provide a plan which covers the whole of Queensland.

About the QIP

The QIP is designed to support and encourage growth across Queensland's regions. It describes the current projects and future infrastructure directions within the seven planning regions across Queensland. The focus is a whole of state plan, because of the need to ensure that growth and opportunities are shared between the state's disparate regions and allocated in accordance with priorities and needs of those regions.

This plan supports the Queensland Regionalisation Strategy (QRS) which outlines the investment needed to support the Queensland Government's Towards Q2 objective that by 2020 Queensland has Australia's strongest state economy. The QRS is focused on building stronger regions and ensuring that the infrastructure needed to drive Queensland's growth is rolled out to the regions where it is required.

Principles of the QIP

The QIP outlines the following principles upon which the plan was designed:

  • making smarter use of existing infrastructure;
  • focusing on whole-of-network solutions which support long-term planning;
  • managing the impacts of climate change and achieving sustainability;
  • making bold, large-scale infrastructure investment decisions based on sound evidence; and
  • strengthening partnerships with other levels of government and the private sector.  

These principles also provide a guide to Queensland's approach to infrastructure planning, management and investment into the future.

Support for regions

For each of Queensland's seven planning regions, the QIP includes tables which show the projects planned for delivery over the next four years and descriptions of the future infrastructure directions over the next 20 years. Set out below is a brief summary of some of the key projects identified in each of the regions covered by the QIP:

  • South East Queensland (Gold and Sunshine Coasts, Brisbane and Ipswich) – Gold Coast Rapid Transit, Cross River Rail, Airport Link, Legacy Way, Sunshine Coast University Hospital and Moreton Bay Rail Link;
  • Darling Downs South West (from Toowoomba, west to the South Australian border) – Kogan Creek Solar Boost, Warrego Highway upgrades, Toowoomba Bypass and Surat Basin rail;
  • Wide Bay Burnett (bounded by Gympie, Bundaberg and the North and South Burnett) – Bundaberg Hospital expansion and Bruce Highway upgrades;
  • Central Queensland (west from Rockhampton and Gladstone) – Rockhampton Hospital expansion and Dawson, Leichardt, Bruce, Capricorn and Landsborough Highway upgrades;
  • Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday (Whitsunday Islands to the Isaac Hinterland) – Bruce Highway upgrades, Whitsunday Coast Airport, Connors River Dam and Port of Abbot Point;
  • North Queensland (west from Palm Island, including Townsville) – Townsville Hospital expansion, Bruce Highway upgrades and raising of Burdekin Falls Dam; and
  • Far North Queensland (north and west from the Cassowary Coast, including Cairns) – Cairns Transit Network, Bruce Highway upgrades and Cairns Base Hospital redevelopment.  

For each of the projects planned for delivery over the next four years, the QIP describes the current status, expected timing and committed investment. While the plan now covers the entire state, it only describes the current projects with this level of detail, so there are far fewer projects included compared with the region specific plans which the QIP has replaced.

Funding

The QIP acknowledges that significant infrastructure projects require large investment and that there will be challenges in funding all of the planned projects, particularly as government considers reducing its investment in infrastructure spending as it seeks to return the Queensland budget to surplus by 2015-16. Funding sources for infrastructure projects described in the QIP include contributions from federal, state and local governments, as well as the private sector. Private investment is forecast to peak at nearly 28% of gross state product by 2011-12. Innovative funding models and partnering with industry, including through Public Private Partnerships, will continue to be used to deliver infrastructure for appropriate projects.

Consultation

The QIP was initially released as a consultation version. The consultation period is now closed. The final QIP is expected to be released in late 2011.