A string of major infrastructure projects in Queensland are at risk of stalling over the next two years, due to a lack of investment from the private sector.
A new report compiled by BIS-Oxford Economics has warned of a reversal in fortunes for the Palaszczuk Government’s Market-Led Proposals program with a lack of funding and viable projects coming through.
The Queensland Major Projects Pipeline Report has revealed that 48 per cent of 190 potential projects, worth a combined $39.9 billion, are without funding, with $7 billion worth marked as unlikely to proceed.
The report is critical of the Palaszczuk Government, which has so far only had two projects approved – the Logan Motorway enhancement and the new Brisbane International Cruise Terminal.
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Brisbane Airport parallel runway phase 2 $830m
Ipswich Motorway (Rocklea-Darra stage 1) $400m
Toowoomba Second Range Crossing $1.6bn
Bruce Highway (Caloundra Road - Sunshine Motorway) $929m
Sunshine Coast Airport new runway $297m
Cross River Rail (tunnel/underground stations) $4.5bn
Brisbane International Cruise Terminal $150m
Singapore military training (Townsville/Rockhampton) $1.6bn
Brisbane Metro $944m
Bruce Highway (Cooroy-Curra section D) $1bn
Inland Rail (3 Queensland sections) $5.25bn
Burdekin Falls Dam $330m
Gold Coast Light Rail stage 3 $500m
Cairns Cruise Terminal expansion 120m
Rockwood Weir $352m
Sunshine Coast rail line duplication $780m
Centenary Highway bus lanes (Ipswich Motorway - Toowong) $400m
Eagle Downs coal mine (Moranbah) $1.25bn
Ipswich Motorway (Rocklea-Darra further stages) $1.4bn
Sunshine Coast Light Rail $500m
Gold Coast Cruise Terminal $120m
Adani mine (stage 1) rail/port expansion $8.7bn
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said major project work had risen by 58 per cent in 2017–18, with activity in 2018–19 forecast at a similar level.
“While the report says maintaining this momentum may be a challenge, I’m confident our upcoming Budget’s $45 billion of infrastructure over the next four years, plus our other job-supporting initiatives, will be the stimulus needed to keep the economy on the up,” said Dick.
“I note the report highlights lower levels of private sector investment than in previous years, and that’s why the Queensland Government remains committed to infrastructure investment. ”
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The report goes on to highlight that the value of public sector projects with committed funds or currently under procurement outweighs the private sector by six to one in Queensland.
“Queensland needs to keep focused on finding good, investable projects so the pipeline doesn’t dry up. When projects already in development are accounted for, Queensland has only 12 out of 96 projects identified for investment on the current National Infrastructure Priority List,” Infrastructure Association of Queensland chief executive Steve Abson said.
“This level of projects coming through is two to three times lower than we’d prefer to see.”
While Queensland's projects continue to stall, New South Wales and Victoria continue to deliver large-scale infrastructure through innovative private sector funding.
“The challenge is to understand the barriers that are preventing greater private investment in existing or new private infrastructure – be that regulations, approvals, risk on financial return, perception of sovereign risk or confidence in the long-term outlook for the region,” said Abson.