One thing is certain about the 2018 Federal Budget announcement just a few weeks ago. There was not a lot in it to excite developers in the Brisbane region. Queensland won’t receive a helping hand from the Turnbull government to build the Cross River Rail, and there was no mention of it whatsoever in the $5.2 billion allocated to state infrastructure.
Although the Premier’s obviously favorite program was ignored, Queensland was the second biggest national winner in this budget, with one-fifth of the Federal Government’s $24.5 billion spends on roads and rail going to the Sunshine State. This 24.5 billion is part of a $75 billion 10 year infrastructure commitment.
The investment of $3.5 billion to boost regional economies in the ‘Roads of Strategic Importance’ initiative is aimed at upgrading key freight routes and is backed by the Building Better Regions Fund. With the key focus on exports freight corridors, upgrades will be welcomed.
Key infrastructure projects include $3.3 billion to much-needed upgrades of the Bruce Highway, $300 million for the Brisbane Metro and $1 billion upgrade funding for the M1 south to the Gold Coast.
$390 million has also been allocated to duplicate a section of the North Coast train line between Beerburrum and Landsborough, and the $3.3 billion Bruce Highway upgrade will include upgrades between Cooroy and Curra, Pine Rivers and Caloundra. The M1 Pacific Highway upgrades will be spent between Daisy Hill and Eight Mile Plains, Tugun and Varsity Lakes.
Other highway upgrades benefitting the region include $170 million to link the Darling Downs and Ipswich via the Cunningham Highway and $64.2 million devoted to upgrading on the Warrego Highway.