The funding boost, announced in the 2021 Federal Budget, will help support the economic recovery by creating an estimated 30,000 construction sector jobs across road and freight networks.
Queensland is set to receive $1.6 billion, which will be allocated to key projects such as $400 million in additional funding for the Bruce Highway, $400 million for the Inland Freight Route (Mungindi to Charters Towers) and $240 million for the Cairns Western Arterial Road Duplication.
BDO’s Project & Infrastructure Advisory National Leader, Darren Black, said although Queensland’s funding allocation is less than other states, it could still reap significant economic benefits.
“Overall, Queensland has been allocated around $800 million in infrastructure funding over the forward estimates, which on a spend per capita basis for the period is less than other states, such as South Australia and Western Australia,” he said.
“The Bruce Highway project announcement mightn’t be as glamorous as METRONET in Western Australia, Victoria’s intermodal terminal, or even Canberra’s new light rail, but it is extremely important from an economic perspective.
“Previous Bruce Highway projects have proven the capital spend can easily be offset by the benefits accrued from having a free flowing transport corridor in all weather conditions, especially flood.
“Take the recent floods that hit the Rockhampton region. The relatively new Yeppen Floodplain Bridge remained open to traffic during the entire period, avoiding the millions of dollars in lost opportunity that would historically occur when the bridge was cut off by even minor flooding.”
As more of the highway is rebuilt and turned in to a dual carriageway, the travel time, safety and user benefits will also accrue and translate to economic value for the state and nation.
Water projects will see further benefits flow
“The budget also has a potential sleeper benefit to Queensland arising from the $3.5 billion National Water Grid fund, which will be used over the forward estimates to provide stimulus funding to projects of national significance, including new dams and water infrastructure,” Mr Black explained.
“Given there are several projects at an advanced stage in Queensland, we should expect additional infrastructure spending allocated to the Sunshine State from this fund over the near term.”
Accordingly to Mr Black, projects such as the Urannah water scheme in the Bowen Basin, which was recently the only Queensland project added to the latest Infrastructure Australia priority list, are expected to be high on the list for allocation from this fund.
To discuss any queries related to the infrastructure investment or 2021 Federal Budget announcements, contact a BDO Project & Infrastructure Advisory expert.Jump to next article