Construction site in Queensland.

The 2023-24 Queensland State Budget has been released and is set to transform the state with major infrastructure investments that will help to create more jobs, new industries, better communities and stronger regions.

Queensland’s Big Build

A $20.321 billion Big Build capital investment in the 2023-24 State Budget – part of a $88.729 billion investment over four years – will support the delivery of the state’s biggest transformational projects as well as essential services for Queenslanders.

Major programs being supported include the ten-year $7.1 billion Brisbane 2032 venues infrastructure program jointly funded with the Australian Government, the Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan, the delivery of major water infrastructure and better health and transport facilities and services.

Queensland Deputy Premier, Steven Miles, said, “Our $20.321 billion Big Build capital investment in the 2023-24 State Budget is supporting transformational projects.

“Importantly, more than 65 per cent of the Queensland Government’s infrastructure spend will be made outside south east Queensland,” Mr Miles said.

“Our regions’ infrastructure needs are being supported with a new $3.611 million investment in 2023’s budget, towards Regional Infrastructure Plans, a key element of the State Infrastructure Strategy.”

Jobs and training

An investment of almost $1.35 billion in skills, training, employment and small business support in Queensland has also been allocated in the 2023-24 State Budget

The funding is intended to help deliver quality training and career pathways to meet Queensland’s increasing workforce demands now and into the future. 

The 2023-24 State Budget investment also provides support to Queensland’s small business sector, which is such a vital contributor to the state’s economy. 

The Queensland Government will continue to fund a broad range of highly successful grant programs and initiatives in 2023-34 that support small businesses as well as skills, training and employment pathways for Queenslanders. 

Some of the 2023-24 State Budget highlights:

  • A total of $86 million is being invested to revitalise and upgrade training infrastructure to deliver key projects such as;
    • the Eagle Farm Robotics and Advanced Manufacturing Centre
    • the expansion of Great Barrier Reef International Marine College in Cairns to deliver world-class maritime training
    • the Bohle Renewable Energy Centre at the TAFE Queensland Trade Training Centre (Bohle) in Townsville
  • $29.8 million over three years to replace the vocational education and training (VET) information and communication technology systems, this includes $8.8 million in 2023-24
  • $4.6 million over two years for the Women in Trade Apprenticeships Mentoring Program to support women in trades and increase retention and completion rates
  • $5 million over two years for cyber security support initiatives for small to medium enterprises, with funding held centrally
  • Support for the establishment of Queensland Indigenous Business Network to provide support and advocacy for the growth of First Nations businesses
  • Up to $1 million committed to assist with the development of the Cairns Indigenous Training Centre to provide First Nations people in the Far North with a tailored trade training facility

Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said Queensland’s economy is seeing a great demand put on its workforce and that is expected to increase with an extra 280,000 jobs forecast for Queensland by 2024-25.

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development, Di Farmer, said Queensland’s economy is diverse and expanding into new industries, requiring the training system to anticipate and deliver a skilled workforce to ensure continued economic growth.

“In the 2022-23 financial year to date, more than 212,000 students have been supported through the Government’s investment in vocational training,” Ms Farmer said. 

“Fee Free TAFE in 2023, which is delivered by TAFE Queensland and Central Queensland University, will continue to be available for Queenslanders looking for a pathway to their dream career or even a career change.

“To date, 32,000 Queenslanders have been supported in Fee Free TAFE courses across more than 80 qualifications.

Rail and transport

The State Government has also announced a $32.1 billion program to continue investment in road and transport projects..

The Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program (QTRIP) for 2023-24 to 2026-27 will be delivered across the state and is estimated to continue to support an average of 25,200 direct jobs.

The program encompasses a range of infrastructure investment including road, rail, marine, passenger transport, and active transport projects, which will all contribute to enhancing connectivity, improving safety, and supporting economic growth across the state.

The budget includes:

  • $1.815 billion for targeted road safety initiatives, which complements other investment in behavioural change initiatives that aim to reduce lives lost and serious injuries on Queensland roads
    • This includes over $500 million for the Road Safety Program in partnership with the Federal Government
  • $4.869 billion towards the Queensland Train Manufacturing Program
  • $2.598 billion towards Logan and Gold Coast Faster Rail (jointly funded with the Australian Government)
  • $550.8 million for Beerburrum to Nambour Rail Upgrade (Stage 1) (jointly funded with the Australian Government)
  • $500 million for New Gold Coast Stations (Pimpama, Hope Island, Merrimac)
  • QTRIP 2023-24 to 2026-27 also features a $4.3 billion investment led by Queensland Rail including close to $300 million towards continue the South-East Queensland Station Accessibility Upgrade Program

Queensland Treasurer, Cameron Dick, said Queensland’s transport services are being transformed by projects like Cross River Rail, funded via a capital contribution of $6.349 billion, along with financing of $1.499 billion secured through a public private partnership.

“This is the largest transport project ever undertaken in Queensland,” Mr Dick said. 

“Other major transport projects include the M1 Pacific Motorway upgrades, Coomera Connector, Bruce Highway upgrades and Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3.

“We’re also delivering major water infrastructure essential for regional growth including the Haughton Pipeline Stage 2, Rookwood Weir and the South West Pipeline.”

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister, Mark Bailey, said reducing road trauma and saving lives remains one of the State Government’s highest priorities, and 2023’s QTRIP investment builds upon a legacy of constant improvement to roads through various safety programs.

“QTRIP plays a pivotal role in unlocking economic prosperity and improving the well-being of Queensland communities,” Mr Bailey said. 

This investment in rail is set to deliver on key priorities set out in SEQ Rail Connect – the Queensland Government’s blueprint for preparing the South East Queensland (SEQ) rail network for the future.

It will deliver new trains and new stations and lay the foundations for a modernised network, including critical track upgrades, signalling improvements, and station upgrades.

The investment in rail will continue to drive economic recovery, supporting jobs and delivering on previous project commitments while promoting economic confidence and responsible project delivery.

The QTRIP 2023-24 to 2026-27 encompasses a range of infrastructure investment including road, rail, passenger transport, active transport and maritime projects, which will all contribute to enhancing connectivity, improving safety, and supporting economic growth across the state.

For detailed information on the QTRIP click here.

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