Government releases draft plan to manage Queenslands future growth

The Palaszczuk Governments blueprint to manage future growth and deliver a long-term program of infrastructure projects and investment for the state is outlined in the draft State Infrastructure Plan released today.

The Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Jackie Trad said the draft State Infrastructure Plan was a new way of planning for infrastructure that was fiscally responsible, long-term and encouraged private sector innovation.

The State Infrastructure Plan takes a long-term view of infrastructure planning by identifying the key challenges facing Queensland over the coming decades and presenting opportunities across a range of sectors to address these challenges, Ms Trad said.

The plan is also a blueprint to prioritise and deliver projects that foster economic growth and promote community wellbeing across the state.

The draft State Infrastructure Plan outlines a credible program of projects and headline priorities for future investment and planning for Queensland.

The draft State Infrastructure Plan outlines five priorities for future investment, including:

Increasing the capacity and resilience of South East Queenslands transport system;
A sustainable health care system, with service equivalence delivered through technology wherever possible;
Dealing with disruption in the energy sector;
Regional connectivity and freight market access; and
Better preservation of public assets.

Ms Trad said unlike other infrastructure plans that have attempted to specify long-range, specific solutions the draft State Infrastructure Plan highlights ways to work with the existing capital across the forward estimates program.

The plan outlines a new infrastructure planning cycle and investment framework, Ms Trad.

The draft plan takes a whole-of-life infrastructure perspective, recognising the importance of selecting the right solution to meet a service need, better use of existing infrastructure and financing, funding and delivery of projects.

In response to feedback from consultation, the draft plan makes it clear how work aligns across levels of government and between infrastructure and land use.

Importantly the draft plan provides confidence and certainty to business, industry, local government and the community outlining a clear program of works and confirming the governments investment program over the next four years.

Ms Trad said the draft plan also outlines opportunities across the 5 – 15 year horizon to address the states challenges, without locking in specific solutions.

Unlike previous state infrastructure plans, this blueprint offers pointers to the private sector to invite them to help government solve the changes of the future, Ms Trad said.

Rather than being prescriptive, the plan presents the challenges and identifies opportunities without dictating specific solutions, and therefore encouraging innovation and consideration by the private sector, including through Market Led Proposals.

The Deputy Premier said the release of a final State Infrastructure Plan early next year ? after three years without one ? demonstrated the Palaszczuk Governments commitment to proper planning and collaboration.

The government is looking at the big picture and balancing economic growth with the health and well-being of all Queenslanders, Ms Trad said.

To address congestion and accommodate future growth, investment in South East Queenslands public transport network will be the governments number one prioriy and this is reflected in the projects and initiatives submitted by the government to Infrastructure Australias priority infrastructure list.

Ms Trad said the draft State Infrastructure Plan had a strong focus on meeting the needs of regional Queensland.

The Palaszczuk Government had already supported business confidence with a $10.1 billion investment in a capital works program for 2015-2016 announced in this years State Budget.

This includes $3.9 billion on roads and transport, $2.4 billion on energy and water and $1.3 billion on health and community infrastructure, Ms Trad.

The draft State Infrastructure Plan consultation will close on 4 December 2015 and can be viewed online Queensland Government draft State Infrastructure Plan consultation Website

Following targeted consultation, the final plan will be released in early 2016.