Infrastructure projects are a constant part of Queensland becoming a more productive state. If the roads are of better quality, goods can be transported across the regions quicker, in turn improving the entire supply chain.
Another benefit of large projects are the number of employment and apprenticeship opportunities created. In fact, according to the Federal Minister for Major Projects Paul Fletcher, a project due to start in the new year could serve several thousand over the next three years.
Early work on the $1.162 billion Gateway Upgrade North project between Nudgee and Bracken Ridge has now been completed, with major works set to begin in early 2016. The 11.3km upgrade through Brisbane’s north is vital, given that it serves one of Queensland’s busiest motorways.
Mr Fletcher explained that the project will include a number of infrastructure improvements such as extra lanes and interchanges. In fact, there will also be a new off-road shared pedestrian and cycle path built to support the growing population.
Queensland Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports, Mark Bailey cited the economic benefits of these improvements for the 80,000 motorists who use the motorway each day.
“From a national transport network perspective, the widening from four to six lanes will cut congestion along this section to ensure more reliable travel times for motorists, including a significant number of freight operators,” he said.
“The initiative will help meet future transport needs of the region’s growing population by targeting capacity, congestion and safety issues faced by road users each day.”
$10 billion infrastructure investment
As mentioned earlier, infrastructure improvements are a common sight in Queensland. In fact, the work set for the Gateway Motorway North is just a section of the $10 billion infrastructure investment announced in July’s state budget.
At the time, Treasurer Curtis Pitt said this marked a significant growth period ahead for the economy and employment.
“The $10.1 billion capital program will deliver job creating opportunities with capital expenditure focussed on the needs of local communities and in support of local employment opportunities,” he said.
“Queensland Treasury estimates that the State’s 2015-16 capital works program will directly support around 27,500 full-time equivalent jobs – this is a welcome boost to economic activity in Queensland.”
With the majority of projects set to be completed over the coming years, there is plenty of opportunities ahead for Queensland apprentices seeking a long-term future in the construction industry.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator