A NEW Queensland Infrastructure Plan, a blueprint for the next 20 years, was released by the Queensland Government this week for public consultation.
Premier Anna Bligh and Deputy Premier Paul Lucas said the Queensland Infrastructure Plan (QIP) was a visionary plan that would strengthen regional Queensland and the entire state.
The Queensland Infrastructure Plan is the foundation document to the Queensland Regionalisation Strategy – also released this week – and includes major documents including a significant masterplan for the Bruce Highway.
According to the document, the QIP sets the strategic platform to guide the planning, prioritisation and sequencing of infrastructure as well as identifying the infrastructure needed to support and further encourage growth across Queensland's major regional economic zones.
The plan also aims to improve the way existing infrastructure is managed and provide a pipeline of targeted investment to deliver infrastructure where and when it is needed.
"Queensland is now the only State in Australia with a 20 year infrastructure plan for the entire state," Ms Bligh said.
Ms Bligh said the plan provides a clear outline of short-term infrastructure projects as well as forward planning for longer-term infrastructure priorities to meet the future needs of regions.
"This plan is not just an investment in infrastructure for the people of Queensland; it's an investment in the state's future prosperity", Ms Bligh said, adding that the QIP will help drive investment and development to create stronger, more prosperous regions.
The plan aims to enhance private sector investment certainty by providing clear direction about priorities and timing for infrastructure investment across Queensland's regions.
The QIP replaces other regional infrastructure plans and programs including the South East Queensland Infrastructure Plan and Program and the Far North Queensland Infrastructure Plan.
It allocates infrastructure priorities for seven regions – Far North Queensland; North Queensland; Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday; Central Queensland; Wide Bay Burnett; Darling Downs South West; and South East Queensland.
Mr Lucas said the State Government now needed feedback from Queenslanders on the plan.
"This plan will shape the future direction of infrastructure for each region and across the state, so it's important it reflects the views, values and opinions of the people who call it home," Mr Lucas said.
"We've worked hard to develop this plan, and we now need Queenslanders to look at it and give us their thoughts."
The QIP is based on five underlying principles to Queensland's approach to infrastructure planning, management and investment:
- Make smarter use of existing infrastructure;
- Focus on whole of network solutions which support long-term planning;
- Manage the impacts of climate change and achieve sustainability;
- Make bold, large-scale infrastructure investment decisions based on sound evidence; and
- Strengthen partnerships.
Key projects prioritised in the QIP include:
- Far North Queensland – Cairns Transit Network; Cairns Foreshore; Bruce Highway upgrades; Cairns Base Hospital redevelopment; Cairns Cityport.
- North Queensland – Douglas Arterial Duplication; Townsville Hospital expansion; Bruce Highway upgrades; trade training centres in schools; raising of Burdekin Falls Dam.
- Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday – Bruce Highway upgrades; Mackay TAFE Trade Training Centre; Whitsunday Coast Airport; Connors River Dam; Mackay Base Hospital; Port of Abbot Point.
- Central Queensland – Rockhampton Hospital expansion; Dawson, Leichhardt, Bruce, Capricorn and Landsborough highway upgrades; RG Tanna and Wiggins Island coal terminals at the Port of Gladstone.
- Wide Bay Burnett – Bundaberg Hospital expansion; Blackbutt Range Crossing road improvements; Bruce Highway upgrades; Principal Cycle Network Plan; trade training centres in schools.
- Darling Downs and South West – Kogan Creek Solar Boost; Warrego Highway upgrades; Toowoomba Bypass; Surat Basin Rail; Kenya to Chinchilla Pipeline; upgrade to emergency departments at Toowoomba and Roma hospitals.
- South East – Gold Coast Rapid Transit; Cross River Rail; Queensland Children's Hospital; Airport Link; Legacy Way; Sunshine Coast University Hospital; Gold Coast University Hospital; Southern Queensland Correctional Precinct; Ipswich Motorway upgrade.
The plan is expected be finalised later this year after regional consultation forums and input from the private sector plus other levels of government. More information is available from the Department of Local Government and Planning website at <http://www.dlgp.qld.gov.au/>. Community consultation will run until September 9.