A string of major infrastructure projects in Queensland are at risk of stalling over the next two years, due to reluctant investment from the private sector.
A new report compiled by BIS-Oxford Economics has warned of a reversal in fortunes for the Palaszczuk Government’s Market-Led Proposals program with a lack of funding and viable projects coming through.
The Queensland Major Projects Pipeline Report has revealed that 48 per cent of 190 potential projects, worth a combined $39.9 billion, are without funding, with $7 billion worth marked as unlikely to proceed.
The report is critical of the Palaszczuk Government, which has so far only had two projects approved – the Logan Motorway enhancement and the new Brisbane International Cruise Terminal.
Brisbane Airport parallel runway phase 2 $830m
Ipswich Motorway (Rocklea-Darra stage 1) $400m
Toowoomba Second Range Crossing $1.6bn
Bruce Highway (Caloundra Road – Sunshine Motorway) $929m
Sunshine Coast Airport new runway $297m
Cross River Rail (tunnel/underground stations) $4.5bn
Brisbane International Cruise Terminal $150m
Singapore military training (Townsville/Rockhampton) $1.6bn
Brisbane Metro $944m
Bruce Highway (Cooroy-Curra section D) $1bn
Inland Rail (3 Queensland sections) $5.25bn
Burdekin Falls Dam $330m
Gold Coast Light Rail stage 3 $500m
Cairns Cruise Terminal expansion 120m
Rockwood Weir $352m
Sunshine Coast rail line duplication $780m
Centenary Highway bus lanes (Ipswich Motorway – Toowong) $400m
Eagle Downs coal mine (Moranbah) $1.25bn
Ipswich Motorway (Rocklea-Darra further stages) $1.4bn
Sunshine Coast Light Rail $500m
Gold Coast Cruise Terminal $120m
Adani mine (stage 1) rail/port expansion $8.7bn
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said major project work had risen by 58 per cent in 2017–18, with activity in 2018–19 forecast at a similar level.
“While the report says maintaining this momentum may be a challenge, I’m confident our upcoming Budget’s $45 billion of infrastructure over the next four years, plus our other job-supporting initiatives, will be the stimulus needed to keep the economy on the up,” said Dick.
“I note the report highlights lower levels of private sector investment than in previous years, and that’s why the Queensland Government remains committed to infrastructure investment. ”
The report goes on to highlight that the value of public sector projects with committed funds or currently under procurement outweighs the private sector by six to one in Queensland.
“Queensland needs to keep focused on finding good, investable projects so the pipeline doesn’t dry up. When projects already in development are accounted for, Queensland has only 12 out of 96 projects identified for investment on the current National Infrastructure Priority List,” Infrastructure Association of Queensland chief executive Steve Abson said.
“This level of projects coming through is two to three times lower than we’d prefer to see.”
While Queensland’s projects continue to stall, New South Wales and Victoria continue to deliver large-scale infrastructure through innovative private sector funding.
“The challenge is to understand the barriers that are preventing greater private investment in existing or new private infrastructure – be that regulations, approvals, risk on financial return, perception of sovereign risk or confidence in the long-term outlook for the region,” said Abson.
Brisbane Metro to Reshape Adelaide Street
Brisbane City Council has released its plan to transform one of the cities vital public transport corridors into a new transit boulevard, including an underground tunnel entry for Brisbane Metro.
Adelaide Street in Brisbane’s CBD will now be transformed in order to declutter the existing infrastructure and provide a revised vision for a walkable, tree-lined boulevard, weaving together retail and key civic spaces with world-class public transport access.
The recently released Draft Adelaide Street Vision has outlined council’s plan to adapt the century-old transit corridor to meet changing community needs.
Visitation to Brisbane is marked to increase by around 30 per cent by 2020, and infrastructure to support and service the high-frequency Metro vehicles will be an initial focus.
The $944 million Brisbane Metro is a key driver for the new direction, with the project delivering a new tunnel under Adelaide Street to link North Quay to the King George Square Bus Station.
Pedestrian movement will also be prioritised with widened footpaths, build-outs and improved street crossings.
Clark Lane will also be activated with the addition of an adjoining pocket park with an outdoor gallery and creative lighting as well as enhancements to Hutton Lane to improve connectivity to Central Station.
Lord mayor Adrian Schrinner said the Draft Adelaide Street Vision outlined Council’s plan to adapt Adelaide Street to increase safety and transport accessibility.
“As our city experiences increased pedestrian and public transport activity, we want to transform this corridor into a world-class transit boulevard,” lord mayor Adrian Schrinner said.
“We’re going to make sure that is a world-class arrival experience in Adelaide Street and a much more pleasant environment, a safer environment, for pedestrians as well.”
Adelaide Street, one of four key city boulevards that is both pedestrian and transit-oriented within Brisbane’s CBD, was originally sounded out for its development potential in the City Centre Master Plan 2014.
“We need to plan a desirable entry point into the heart of the city ahead of the high-frequency Brisbane Metro, which is expected to increase passenger numbers to King George Square by 120 per cent,” Schrinner said.
Council is currently evaluating expressions of interest from five consortia to build the inner city infrastructure for the Metro before releasing a short-list to commence the tender proposal phase later this year.
The Brisbane Metro will stretch 21 kilometres, from Eight Mile Plains to Roma Street Station, and from the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital to UQ Lakes busway station.
Out of the project’s budget, $196 million has been set aside for the depot, fleet and systems, $557 million for infrastructure and project management and delivery costs $189 million.
The Brisbane Metro’s station at South Brisbane’s Cultural Centrewill cost $315 million, about a third of the metro’s budget.
The route will also close Victoria Bridge to vehicles, reconfiguring the number of metro and bus lanes from four to three, and includes the dedicated off-road cyclist and pedestrian path.
Brisbane residents can provide feedback on the draft Adelaide Street vision until 24 June, after which the council will begin working on the vision coinciding with Brisbane Metro’s construction timeline.
Developers, Government and Council Ink $1.2bn Infrastructure Deal
A $1.2 billion deal to secure the infrastructure needs of two priority development areas over the next 45 years has been made between Queensland government, Logan City council and nine property developers.
The deal will ensure necessary funding towards local roads, water and sewerage facilities for the two development areas Yarrabilba and Greater Flagstone, both located roughly within a 55-kilometre distance from Brisbane CBD.
The nine developers include Lendlease, Villa World, Mirvac, Peet, Pioneer-Fortune, Celestino, Pacific International, New Beith and Gittins.
The two areas are slated to deliver a substantial portion of new housing in south-east Queensland over the next three-to-four decades.
Infrastructure and planning minister Cameron Dick described the deal as the largest infrastructure agreement of its type.
“Some 170 kilometres of council roads will be upgraded through these developer contributions and over the next six years alone, the agreement will see up to $400 million in infrastructure investment, which will support more than 130 construction jobs each year,” Dick said.
“The deal will guarantee the roads, water supply and wastewater infrastructure needed to connect the emerging communities with the surrounding networks are delivered without placing an impost on existing ratepayers.”
Developers will fund the infrastructure through upfront charges, above their development costs within the Flagstone and Yarrabilba areas.
Lendlease Queensland Communities general manager Guy Gibson said the commitment by all parties will see major infrastructure improvements for the Yarrabilba community and Greater Flagstone.
“The finalisation of these infrastructure agreements with the State Government and Logan City Council is an important milestone in ensuring that over the next 45 years the project continues to be well planned and appropriately serviced.”
Facilities have already been delivered in the region, including two primary schools, retail precincts, a sports and community hub and recreational parks.
A state primary and high school are scheduled to open in 2020, while two further schools, one state and one independent, are each in the planning phase for greater Flagstone and Yarrabilba.
New $250m Underground Plans for Roma Street
Brisbane’s Roma Street busway station will be dug underground and integrated with the new Cross River Rail platforms, in a $250 million plan announced on Friday.
While a new underground train station was already promised for the Roma Street site, deputy Premier Jackie Trad unveiled plans that the 650-metre long busway would also be moved below, to be located directly under the Roma Street station plaza.
Despite no federal funding for $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project, Trad said the new underground busway would be delivered as an additional transport infrastructure project, funded by Transport and Main Roads.
“The underground interchange for the Inner Northern Busway to the Cross River Rail Project will support 480 jobs,” Trad said.
The Queensland government expects 36,000 people will transfer daily between rail and buses at the Roma Street station when the project is finished in 2024.
Plans will see the Roma Street precinct revitalised by replacing the “tired” transit centre, with the existing above-ground interchange to be demolished.
The new street frontage station plaza will be built on top of the busway interchange with underground train and bus plaza levels linked by lifts and escalators.
Cross River Rail early works have already commenced in Woolloongabba in Brisbane’s inner south-east.
Contractors are expected to start on Roma Street Station’s underground busway interchange by late-2019.
The multi-billion-dollar project
Cross River Rail is a 10.2 kilometre rail line from Dutton Park to Bowen Hills, which includes 5.9 kilometres of tunnel under the Brisbane River and Brisbane City Centre.
It’s anticipated a trip from Albert Street to The Gabba would take around three minutes.
Once Cross River Rail is open, 36,000 passengers are expected to use Roma Street each day to transfer between buses and trains.
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