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An Optimistic Plan for a Stronger QLD

March 15, 2016 Business News No Comments Email Email

The State Infrastructure Plan signals the potential for Queensland to capture new jobs and growth with smart investment in a long-term infrastructure pipeline. the challenges are significant, industry association Consult Australia welcomes what is a strong plan to build confidence and jump-start the economy

Consult Australia, State Manager Stacey Rawlings observed ‘The creation of a $500 million State Infrastructure Fund, including $300 million for Priority Economic Works, and $20 million for the Infrastructure Pipeline Program, indicate the Government is prepared to open its wallet, at least in the short-term.’

The investments announced today are critical to boost business confidence, and breathe new life into industries that have suffered significant job-losses in recent years.

Ms Rawlings noted, ‘The Government must move quickly to capitalise on these announcements with longer-term funding to ensure the commitments announced in the Plan become a reality

‘Longer-term funding will be essential to deliver a real productivity dividend for the State, and help businesses plan for new jobs and growth.’

Consult Australia applauds additional commitments to:

  •  establish a joint industry-government Infrastructure Innovation Taskforce to reform and simplify contracts and procurement.
  • more innovative funding and financing through a new value capture policy supported by pilot projects, and consideration of the UK City Deals and Westconnex funding model.
  • progressively implementing the use of BIM into all major state infrastructure projects by 2023.
  • establish a Community Infrastructure Reference Group to deliver best practice models for community engagement

Supported by Building Queensland, the commitment in the State Infrastructure Plan to integrated strategic planning at a regional and local level, and alignment with the Australian Infrastructure Plan and Priority List suggest a new, smarter approach to long-term infrastructure decision making at all levels of government.

Ms Rawlings stated, ‘It is clear that the Government has been listening to business, with many of Consult Australia’s priorities for reform addressed through new policy announcements.

More substantial sources of funding remain the greatest challenge.

Ms Rawlings observed, ‘This Plan substantiates the case for a new approach to asset recycling, that helps Queensland manage what is a significant structural change in the economy, and respond to the future challenges of population growth, ageing and climate change.

‘Now is not the time to protect public ownership of major assets, but recycle those assets for the longterm benefit of the whole of Queensland.

‘Consult Australia looks forward to working with the Government to realise the ambition in the Plan, and deliver new value for money outcomes, growth, jobs and a stronger Queensland in the years ahead.’

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