Queensland Government Announces $45bn Infrastructure-Heavy Budget


The Queensland government will roll out $45 billion worth of infrastructure across the next four years as the state keeps up with its growing population.

The state government's pet infrastructure project, the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail, is expected to receive more than $700 million in backing.

Funding is expected to update the Bruce Highway, M1 upgrades, and hospitals across southeast Queensland.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the $45 billion infrastructure spend across the next four years will drive the sunshine state’s economy, supporting 38,000 jobs each year in the process.

“That’s a big number, with investment up $2 billion on last year’s Budget and almost five times what the federal government is investing in our state’s infrastructure,” Palaszczuk said.

Minister for State Development and Infrastructure Cameron Dick said the investment was important for Queensland's expanding population.

“Our population has just reached five million. It will continue to grow by around 100,000 a year over the next 20 years,” Dick said.

“Queensland is the country’s top destination for interstate migration.

“It is essential that a growing state plans for the future and provides the infrastructure needed to accommodate population growth. "

The state opposition has claimed the government is “playing catch-up” to accommodate its growing population, underspending around $3 billion per year over the past three years.

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Other projects include the Cairns Convention Centre and Townsville Port expansions and the construction of Townsville Stadium.

Federal budget papers released earlier this month allocated an extra $24.5 billion worth of transport improvements rolled out as part of the government’s $75 billion ten-year infrastructure plan.

Of the $24.5 billion in infrastructure commitments, $5.2 billion is being invested in Queensland roads, rail and bus projects.

"The government has a role to provide infrastructure where it leads to net benefits for businesses and communities and where there are barriers that prevent individuals or businesses from investing themselves," the budget papers said.

Labour will officially deliver the full Queensland budget on June 12.

Main image: The Bruce Highway is expected to receive funding to reduce congestion. $11.5 billion will be spent on roads, rail, hospitals and schools next financial year alone.

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