Treasurer Curtis Pitt has handed down the 2017-2018 budget, which is forecasting a modest surplus of $146 million. The Queensland Budget for 2017-18 shows a growth in revenue by an average of 3% per year over the forward estimates, an outlook described as “challenging”. Growth is forecast to strengthen from the 2.4 per cent recorded in 2015-16 to 2.75 per cent in 2016-17 and 2017-2018, before improving to 3 per cent in 2018-19.
Importantly for the civil construction sector is a $42.75 billion capital works program over four years – an increase of more than $2 billion compared to the last budget, although when capital grants are excluded, there has been a reduction in the budget when compared to last year’s forecast for this year.
The $850 million already allocated to fund Cross River Rail has now been supplemented, creating a total of $2.81 billion in funding over four years. $129 million in capital funding has been allocated already towards the Delivery Authority. The project will still be reliant on future Federal Funding and will access the Commonwealth’s new $10 billion 10 year National Rail Programme for funding after 2019.
The majority of the new money for Cross River Rail is budgeted for years down the track – and after the state election. The government has committed $62 million from 2018-19, $1.06 billion from 2019-20 and $829 million in 2020-21. There is also an extra $20 million in 2017-18 for the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority.
Other rail projects to benefit from funding include the New Generation Rollingstock ($40 million) and the European Train Control System ($27 million).
Regional Queensland will not miss out on infrastructure spending, with $4.8 billion to be invested in Mackay, the outback, far north Queensland, central Queensland, Wide Bay, the Darling Downs and Townsville, with the government promising that this will support up to 14,500 jobs.
Funds allocations towards infrastructure projects include:
- Toowoomba Second Range Crossing PPP ($252 million)
- Warrego Highway packages ($126 million)
- Bruce Highway Caloundra Road ($120 million)
- Mackay Ring Road ($70 million) in partnership with the Australian Government.
- Cairns Shipping Development Project ($120 million)
- Gateway Upgrade North ($236 million)
- Channel widening at the Port of Townsville ($75 million)
Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program (QTRIP) is forecast at approximately $21 billion over four years, of which $4.32 billion is budgeted for 2017-18:
- $252.5 million towards the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing, totalling $1.606 billion
- $236.3 million towards the Gateway Motorway North six laning, totalling $1.143 billion
- $233.5 million to deliver Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 2, totalling $420 million
- $120 million to duplicate Bruce Highway between Caloundra Road and Sunshine Motorway, totalling $929.3 million
- $105 million to undertake restoration works under Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements
- $70 million towards construction of Mackay Ring Road (Stage 1), total estimated $497.8 million
- $39.7 million to complete upgrading of various Gold Coast roads in preparation for Commonwealth Games, totalling $160.7 million
- $44.4 million to duplicate the Warrego Highway, Charlton to Kingsthorpe, totalling $160 million
- $36 million to construct additional lanes on Stage 1 of the Ipswich Motorway between Rocklea to Darra, totalling $400 million
- $5 million towards duplicating the Capricorn Highway between Rockhampton and Gracemere, totalling $75 million
- $18.6 million to construction additional lanes on the Pacific Motorway between Mudgeeraba and Varsity Lakes
- $10 million to upgrade the Pacific Motorway/Gateway Motorway merge
- $16 million to seal sections of the Kennedy Developmental Road between Hughenden and The Lynd, totalling $50 million
- $16.3 million to replace the bridge and approaches for flood immunity at Cape River on the Gregory Developmental Road, totally $34.6 million
- $16.8 million to replace timber bridges on the Dawson Highway, totalling $40 million under our State Infrastructure Fund
- $39.1 million to continue upgrades to Peninsula Developmental Road as part of the $260.5 million Cape York Regional Package
- $14.4 million upgrade of the Helensvale Bus Facility
- $500,000 to continue preliminary design of the $150 million Walkerston Bypass, on the Peak Downs Highway west of Mackay
- $4 million towards the $20 million Mount Lindesay Highway upgrades between Browns Plains and Beaudesert, with a further $20 million state funding committed to widen the highway to four lanes between Rosia Road and Stoney Camp Road in QTRIP.