After an election campaign spent making big-ticket promises, the Queensland government has revealed just how much it will spend.
Queensland commuters, freight drivers and tourists alike will benefit from the multi-billion-dollar transport spend unveiled in the state budget.
Southeast Queensland will be the big winner, with huge investments set to be delivered along the rail corridor, on the M1 between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, local rail lines on the Gold and Sunshine coasts, and upgrades along the Bruce Highway growth corridor.
The rest of the state hasn’t been forgotten, with a multi-billion-dollar Bruce Highway capital program to benefit towns between Cairns and Brisbane and rail investments for the regional network.
As promised in the election campaign, Queenslanders will be on-board 20 new trains by 2025, all bearing a stamp not seen in more than a decade – Made in Queensland – with construction set to begin at Maryborough.
In total, the government will spend $6.3 billion in “transformative transport infrastructure”, which includes $1.5 billion to continue construction work on the Cross River Rail.
The 2020-21 budget allocates $600 million towards the government’s $1 billion 10-year commitment to make trains in the state again. In total, the government will spend $35 million on the project before June 30, 2021.
“For the first time in a decade, we will ensure that our state’s trains carry the proudest stamp of all … Made in Queensland,” Treasurer Cameron Dick said.
The government will also continue its 10-year pipeline of manufacturing work in Maryborough to refurbish and maintain the existing Queensland rail fleet.
In addition to the $600 million 10-year package the government has invested for the construction of 20 new trains, it will also consider an option to build a further 45 trains to meet further network demand.
The budget also allocates money to help revitalise rail manufacturing in Rockhampton, to secure land to develop a rail maintenance, manufacturing and logistics centre that can support local suppliers to manufacture components for Queensland-built trains.
Other commitments include the continuation of $85 million in works to improve disability accessibility on the New Generation Rollingstock Fleet.
The government will look at further investment in train tourism, setting aside $1 million for a business case to replace carriages for the Westlander, Inlander and Spirit of the Outback long-distance services.
The Cross River Rail will continue to be a major beneficiary of the Queensland government’s transport spend, with $1.5 billion to be spent on the project before June 30, 2021.
Cross River Rail, which began construction in 2019, will increase network capacity along the new 10.2km underground line from Dutton Park to Bowen Hills. Three new train stations on the Gold Coast will be built as part of the project and eight above-ground stations upgraded.
Throughout its construction, the project will support 7700 full-time equivalent jobs and 450 apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities.
The Gold and Sunshine coasts will benefit from transport spending, with the government investing $50.4 million of the $709.9 million total spend in joint funding for the Gold Coast Light Rail stage 3 that will involve trams travelling south to Burleigh.
Gold Coast residents and tourists are a step closer to the realisation of the Gold Coast Light Rail stage 3A, which will extend the line from Broadbeach to Burleigh Heads. The government has allocated $709.9 million in joint funding, with a capital spend estimate of $50m in 2020-21.
On the Sunshine Coast, work is continuing on the $550.8m jointly funded North Coast Rail Line between Beerburrum and Nambour, with at least $38 million to be spent this year.
On the Sunshine Coast, the government will spend $38.9 million of a $550.8m total spend in joint funding for the North Coast Line – Beerburrum to Nambour Rail upgrade.
Major M1 Pacific Motorway upgrades will benefit hundreds of thousands of drivers each day.
At least 150,000 vehicles each day will benefit from the widening project between Eight Mile Plains and Daisy Hill, used by 12,000 heavy vehicles daily.
The widening of the stretch, from six to eight lines, is due for completion in 2024 and is estimated to cost $750m, of which $94m will be spent this year.
An upgrade between Varsity Lakes and Tugun, which will benefit 85,000 vehicles per day, including 7500 heavy vehicles, will cost $1 billion, with $145 million to be spent this financial year.
Construction work is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.
Along the eastern coast, the Queensland government will continue to work with the Australian government to deliver the Bruce Highway upgrade program, which will benefit the entire 1700 kilometres from Brisbane to Cairns.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the Bruce Highway remained a major focus for the government, with 33 major projects under way.
“We are continuing to deliver the jointly funded $12.6 million, 15-year upgrade program, including a state-funded $100 million boost, helping to improve safety, flood immunity and capacity along this important link between Brisbane and Cairns,” he said.
The 2020-21 capital program includes investment on several key projects along the highway, namely $1.065bn for the Rockhampton Ring Road, $932.2m to widen the highway to six lanes between Caloundra Road and Sunshine Motorway, $662.5m to upgrade the highway from four to six lanes between Caboolture-Bribie Island Road and Steve Irwin Way.
An estimated $716m will be spent on various projects along the Bruce Highway in 2020-21.