Infrastructure spending in Queensland is expected to provide a significant boost for employment in the state, with the Palaszczuk government announcing a $10.1 billion investment package.
The funding was unveiled in the 2015-16 State Budget and could support as many as 27,500 jobs in Queensland over the next 12 months. The government is set to spend $35.4 billion on capital purchases over the four-year period between now and 2018-19.
Treasurer Curtis Pitt emphasised the positive effect infrastructure funding will have on the labour market over the coming year.
He stated: “The $10.1 billion capital program will deliver job-creating opportunities with capital expenditure focused on the needs of local communities and in support of local employment opportunities.”
The announcement could spell good news for apprentices in Queensland, particularly in construction-related roles. The government said $4 billion will go towards roads and transport schemes, benefiting approximately 10,500 jobs.
Jackie Trad, Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, highlighted the importance of rural and regional communities. She said nearly half of the proposed $10.1 billion will be set aside for these areas.
“One specific initiative is the Building Our Regions program. It will be a targeted infrastructure program to deliver support for local government projects totalling $200 million over two years,” Ms Trad explained.
Creating jobs in Queensland
Aside from road and transport funding, the government will also make $1.3 billion of health capital purchases. This is expected to generate opportunities for 3,500 full-time workers.
The main projects receiving financial assistance include the Sunshine Coast University Hospital, which will benefit from $488.7 million. Logan Hospital, Mackay Base Hospital, Mount Isa Health Campus and the Gold Coast University Hospital are among initiatives due to share a pot of $113.6 million.
Elsewhere, energy and water infrastructure schemes and capital grants are likely to support 6,500 jobs, as well as provide significant economic advantages in Queensland.
The government is also keen to help areas devastated by natural disasters. Therefore, $40 million will be spent over two years to help the Rockhampton and Livingstone shires overcome the damage from Cyclone Marcia.
“These projects include revitalisation of the riverfront in Rockhampton and the foreshore at Yeppoon. Critically, these investments in local projects will support local jobs,” Ms Trad stated.
However, Queensland’s rail networks will receive the largest amount of investment over the next year. Improvements to the Lawnton and Petrie stations, as well as the duplication of the Gold Coast line between Helensvale and Coomera stations are due to cost $568.4 million.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Affairs Coordinator