The State Government’s 2015-16 Budget handed down yesterday will drive demand for skills from the building and construction sector in Queensland.

The Budget has provided a clear framework for how the Government intends to progress the State’s future infrastructure program with the establishment of Building Queensland and the release of the Queensland Infrastructure Plan due out in early 2016 (from Ernst & Young Queensland State Budget Brief 2015-16).

The Budget includes a $10.1 billion spend on infrastructure across Queensland this year, supporting an estimated 27,500 jobs.

“At CSQ we are pleased to see this infrastructure pipeline confirmed as it will help to support the economy by creating jobs for our industry”, said CSQ CEO Brett Schimming.

“We continue to support skilling and training for Queenslanders so it is great to see $754.6 million has been allocated for vocational education and training”, he said.

State Budget Highlights

The following summary outlines some of the State Government’s main commitments for transport, infrastructure and training:

Transport and infrastructure

More than $18.8 billion will be invested in Queensland’s overall transport infrastructure in the next four years under Queensland Transport and Road Investment Program (QTRIP) – the state’s program of planned works. 

QTRIP outlines planned spending on roads, rail, marine, public transport and active transport infrastructure and will sustain almost 15,000 jobs over the same period, at a time when jobs and job security are more important than ever.
Investment in the roads, road safety and maritime component of QTRIP totals $14.9 billion.

The 50:50 state/local government Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme funding has increased by $60 million over two years, and brought forward by a year to provide much needed support for local infrastructure and jobs.
Road project highlights for the 2015-16 State Budget delivered under QTRIP include:

• $175.9 million in joint funding to widen the Gateway Motorway North to six lanes all the way between Nudgee and Bracken Ridge for a total cost of $1.2 billion

• $172.1 million in joint funding towards the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing – a bypass route to the north of the city from the Warrego Highway at Helidon to the Gore Highway for a total cost of $1.6 billion

• $113.1 million in joint funding towards the duplication of the Bruce Highway from Cooroy to Curra from Cooroy Southern Interchange to Sankey’s Road (Section A) for a total cost of $490 million

• $33.4 million in joint funding to continue building a new elevated crossing on the Bruce Highway across the Yeppen Floodplain, south of Rockhampton, for a total cost of $170 million

• $40 million in State funds over two years to deliver the Western Roads Upgrade Program, comprising 14 regional priority road projects across western Queensland

• $12.9 million in joint funding towards the replacement of timber bridges on the Peak Downs Highway, between Nebo and Mackay for a total cost of around $70 million

Public transport project highlights for the 2015-16 State Budget delivered under QTRIP include:

• $568.4 million to continue rail network improvements, including building a third track between Lawnton and Petrie stations, commencing the duplication of the Gold Coast line between Coomera and Helensvale station

• $136.8 million in 2015-16 to complete the construction of the Moreton Bay Rail Link, at a total cost of $988 million
Further significant programs to be delivered under QTRIP include:

• $635 million in joint funding over five years to upgrade of the Warrego Highway between Toowoomba and Miles

• $260.5 million in joint funding over five years for the Cape York Region Package, to upgrade key roads and other infrastructure to better connect communities in the Cape

• $160.7 million in State funding over three years for the Gold Coast package of road works, in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games

Education

The Working Queensland jobs plan focuses on skills, training and innovative industries to promote jobs, growth and investment.

It has five key priorities: skills and training, enhancing business productivity, boosting Government services, fostering emerging and innovative industries and growing our regions.

To better align skills demand and long-term workforce planning, $40 million will be allocated to establish Jobs Queensland as an independent statutory authority.

Ten percent of the workforce on all Government projects are required to be apprentices and trainees. This now applies for the first time to Government Owned Corporations.

• $754.6 million – vocational education and training package
• $4.8 billion – support for regional and rural Queensland, including $200 million for the Building Our Regions infrastructure fund

The Budget also provides support for business by delivering a payroll tax rebate for apprentices and trainees, resulting in an estimated $45 million in tax savings for businesses to reinvest.