The Queensland Budget will invest a record of $23 billion investment in roads and transport infrastructure over the next four years.

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program (QTRIP) 2019-20 to 2022-23 would continue the Palaszczuk Government’s focus on job-creating infrastructure investments, particularly in regional Queensland.

“Regional Queensland is the big winner in this infrastructure budget because Queensland’s regional towns and cities are the engine room of our state’s economy.

“More than $14.5 billion of this record QTRIP will be spent outside the Brisbane City, Ipswich City and Redland City local government areas.

“Our investment will make the Bruce Highway safer and more flood-resilient between Brisbane and Cairns.

“We will continue to seal the Peninsula Development Road, supporting Indigenous employment.

“Improvements on the Warrego Highway west of Toowoomba will continue, and we will work with the Federal Government to plan and deliver improvements east of Toowoomba.”  

Mr Bailey said this year’s budget will also pour funding into congestion-busting projects so that people spend less time in the car and more time with their families and friends.

“We will continue upgrading the Ipswich Motorway, and progressing construction of the Sumners Road Interchange on the Centenary Highway.

“We’ll keep building a better M1 from Brisbane to the border – with major projects between Eight Mile Plains and Daisy Hill and Varsity Lakes and Tugun ready to roll as soon as the current two M1 upgrades finish next year.

“We have also committed funding to upgrade three M1 interchanges that serve growing North Gold Coast communities – Exits 41, 49 and 57.

“We’re focusing dollars on where they will make a difference and ring road projects in Townsville, Rockhampton, Mackay and Cairns will benefit those cities by taking traffic, particularly trucks, off local roads.”

Minister Bailey said the budget put road safety high on the agenda, investing more than $900 million in targeted upgrades to ensure roads are safer.

Full steam ahead for rail projects

Billions of dollars have been allocated for rail and passenger transport infrastructure, including $160.8 million from the Queensland Government for the North Coast Line.

“Funding is in this budget to upgrade the North Coast Line, and we will deliver station upgrades and other network improvements while Cross River Rail is being delivered,” Mr Bailey said.

“A centrepiece of that work will be the $250 million high-capacity underground interchange for the Inner Northern Busway to the Cross River Rail Project, a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape the Roma Street Station precinct.

“We will also be investing in bus stops and train stations, including continuing our commitment to expanding park ‘n’ rides, make train stations more accessible to people with disabilities and upgrades on key commuter roads in Brisbane to create priority bus lanes.

“We will continue to deliver the $4.15 billion New Generation Rollingstock project.

“All 75 six car sets are expected to be available for service in the 2019-20 financial year, and Maryborough rail workers will start work in the coming months to ensure the new trains comply with national disability standards.”

Regional focus for transport and road investment

Communities across the state will benefit from a local investment focus, with council-controlled regional transport and road networks supported with $280 million over four years under the Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme (TIDS).

More than $100 million has been allocation for boat ramps, pontoons, jetties, floating walkways and dredging over the next four years.

The State Government’s focus on bike-riding investment will continue to support its goal to see more people riding more often with $42.7 million construction of the Veloway 1 Stage E project in Tarragindi, $17.2 million for the North Brisbane Bikeway (stage 2, 3 and 4) and 50/50 grants funding to support dozens of council-led cycling infrastructure projects.

Mr Bailey said the record QTRIP would support more than 21,500 Queensland jobs.

“From M1 upgrades on the Gold Coast to the Smithfield Bypass north of Cairns, and from the Rockhampton Northern Access Upgrade to the sealing being done on Cape York, people are turning up to work on-site today because the Palaszczuk Government backed these projects.

“This year’s QTRIP outlines the future projects we believe need to be prioritised for Queenslanders.

“The Palaszczuk Government will continue to work with the Federal Government, local governments and the private sector to ensure this pipeline of investment continues to support Queensland communities and create local jobs.”

Major roads projects (including investments jointly-funded with the Australian Government) included in the budget are:

  • $1.03 billion widening, from four to six lanes, of the Pacific Motorway between Varsity Lakes and Tugun
  • $1 billion funding commitment for the Gateway Motorway extension between Bracken Ridge and Pine River
  • $1 billion for the Bruce Highway – Cooroy to Curra (Section D)
  • $812.9 million widening of the Bruce Highway, from four to six lanes, between Caloundra Road and the Sunshine Motorway, and upgrading interchanges at Caloundra Road and Sunshine Motorway
  • $749 million motorway widening and busway extension along the Pacific Motorway between Eight Mile Plains and Daisy Hill
  • $662.5 million widening of the Bruce Highway, from Pine River to Caloundra Road
  • $514.3 million construction of the Haughton River Floodplain upgrade on the Bruce Highway between Horseshoe Lagoon and Palm Creek
  • $497.4 million construction of the Mackay Ring Road (stage 1) project
  • $481 million construction of the Bruce Highway – Cairns Southern Access Corridor (stage 3)
  • $400 million for the Ipswich Motorway (Rocklea to Darra) (stage 1) project to upgrade the motorway from four to six lanes from just east of the Oxley Road roundabout to the Granard Road interchange at Rocklea
  • $301.3 million construction of the Maroochydore Road Interchange Upgrade (stage 1) project
  • $197.5 million widening of the Pacific Motorway, from four to six lanes, between Mudgeeraba and Varsity Lakes
  • $195.3 million construction of additional southbound lanes on the merge between the Gateway Motorway and the Pacific Motorway at Eight Mile Plains and Rochedale
  • $189.3 million upgrade of the Peak Downs Highway at Eton Range
  • $180 million construction of the Bruce Highway – Townsville Ring Road (stage 5)
  • $152 million construction of the Smithfield Bypass project between McGregor Road and Caravonica roundabouts in Cairns
  • $150 million construction of the Deception Bay Road Interchange Upgrade on the Bruce Highway
  • $146.3 million commitment for Pacific Motorway interchange upgrades at Exits 41 and 49
  • $121 million duplication, from two to four lanes, the Bruce Highway Rockhampton Northern Access Upgrade (stage 1) between Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road and Parkhurst
  • $110.6 million construction of additional lanes on the Bruce Highway between Ron Camm Bridge and Mackay Ring Road (stage 1), as part of the Mackay Northern Access Upgrade project
  • $104.1 million construction of the Bruce Highway – Cairns Southern Access Corridor (stage 4) (Kate Street to Aumuller Street)
  • $80 million construction of the Sumners Road interchange over the Centenary Motorway
  • $26 million construction of the Everton Park Link Road connecting Stafford Road and South Pine Road

Rail projects include:

  • $4.156 billion New Generation Rollingstock project
  • $634.4 million European Train Control System – Inner City implementation
  • $298.2 million for upgrading or improving station accessibility at 11 train stations – Strathpine, Boondall, Morayfield, Auchenflower, Southbank, Albion, Cannon Hill, Loganlea, Dakabin, Buranda and East Ipswich
  • $160.8 million (Queensland Government contribution) towards the $550.8 million commitment towards upgrading of the North Coast Line between Beerburrum train station and Nambour train station
  • $120 million for three new railway stations on the Gold Coast, associated with the Cross River Rail project
  • $88.6 million for about 1500 extra car spaces at eight south-east Queensland train station park ‘n’ rides
  • $87.7 million Townsville to Mount Isa Rail Line
  • $68.2 million North Coast Line capacity improvement project (passing loops)
  • $57 million for upgrading various stations between Fairfield train station and Salisbury train station
  • $5 million upgrade of the Yeppoon Rail Line

Public transport infrastructure projects include:

  • $250 million for the Inner Northern Busway at Roma Street Station
  • $53 million construction of the Northern Transitway project to deliver bus priority measures along Gympie Arterial Road between Sadlier Street and Hamilton Road
  • $22 million for the Eastern Transitway project to deliver bus priority measures along Old Cleveland Road
  • $21 million to deliver about 600 new car spaces at Greenbank bus park ‘n’ ride
  • $4.5 million to provide 340 extra car spaces at the Eight Mile Plains bus station park ‘n’ ride

Bike-riding infrastructure projects include:

  • $42.7 million construction of the Veloway 1 (V1) Cycleway (stage E) project between Birdwood Road in Holland Park West and Gaza Road at Tarragindi
  • $17.2 million construction of the North Brisbane Bikeway (stage 2, 3 and 4) between Windsor and Wooloowin to link Brisbane’s CBD to the northern suburbs
  • $4 million installation of on-road bicycle lanes along Logan Road between Levington Road and Kingston Road at Underwood, as part of the Veloway 1 (V1) Cycleway

Maritime projects include:

  • $23.3 million upgrading of Clump Point boating infrastructure at Mission Beach
  • $13.2 million for navigation access and safety initiatives on Gold Coast’s waterways
  • $9 million dredging to deepen the Molongle Creek channel
  • $4 million construction of the Scarborough barge ramp at Scarborough Boat Harbour
  • $3.5 million construction of the Shute Harbour Road boating facility
  • $3.5 million for boating infrastructure on Gold Coast’s waterways
  • $1.4 million Corbetts Landing boat ramp upgrade and floating walkway
  • $1.5 million upgrade of the Dohles Rocks Road boat ramp.

The Budget has been met with mixed opinions from the industry, with Infrastructure Partnerships Australia Chief Executive, Adrian Dwyer, stating it is built on shaky foundations.

“Treasurer Trad has delivered a welcome boost to infrastructure funding in this budget, but Queensland’s investment program is built on shaky fiscal foundations.

“Infrastructure funding underpinned by volatile mining royalties and increased debt is not a long-term recipe for success.

“If the Queensland Government wants to sustain high levels of infrastructure spending while keeping debt in check, they will have to come back to the table on reform and asset recycling.

“Without additional capital from asset recycling and wider reform, the Queensland Government will remain fiscally constrained in the face of a rapidly growing population.”

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