AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Queensland to spend $5.5bn to prepare for growth

<p>The Queensland Government will spend a record $5.53bn for transport initiatives, road, rail and ports infrastructure, treasurer Anna Bligh said yesterday (Tuesday, June 5), handing down the Labor Government’s tenth Budget.</p> <p>Declaring a $2.4bn estimated operating surplus over 2006&#4707, and gross state product growth of 5% in 2007&#4708, Ms Bligh said Queensland would again record the highest per capita capital program of all the states.</p> <p>Ms Bligh said the Government’s $14bn capital works borrowing program over the next four years for key water, road, rail and port projects was affordable, because of the state’s growing population, and the continuation of the coal boom.</p> <p>&#8220Borrowings will remain affordable, with interest costs as a proportion of revenue averaging just over 2% across the forward estimates,&#8221 she said.</p> <p>&#8220We’re investing in one of the country’s largest infrastructure programs ever. Add to that, we’ve also got a population growing at a rate around double the rest of Australia.&#8221</p> <p>The opposition has labelled the borrowing program &#8220alarming&#8221.</p> <p>Opposition treasury spokesman Bruce Flegg told the ABC the capital works spend was not as good as it sounded.</p> <p>&#8220Many of those dollars are just cost over-runs or projects that are twice the price to deliver now,&#8221 he said.</p> <p>The $5.53bn spending allocation includes:</p> <p>&#8226 $3.05bn for roads infrastructure &#8211 including $736m for Queensland Motorways Limited, with $691 million of this for the duplication of the Gateway Bridge and upgrade of the Gateway Motorway </p> <p>&#8226 $1.28bn for rail infrastructure </p> <p>&#8226 $645m for transport infrastructure and </p> <p>&#8226 $558m for ports infrastructure.</p> <p><em>See other news wire for details of ports and rail spending</em> .</p> <br />