Australia: Government announces major infrastructure project in Queensland
The 2017-18 Queensland State Draft Budget was announced just a few days ago.
The budget, which envisages an increase in public exoenditure and a reduction in the budget surplus, has the following priorities: creating new jobs to bring the unemployment rate down to 6%, increasing infrastructure funding and incentives to promote a transition to a new energy system. In particular the Government is determined to achieve a mid-term goal of 50% of the State's electricity generated by renewable sources. The draft budget also envisages an increase in funding the health and education sectors.
The draft budget allocates 1 billion dollars to a specific reconstruction/prevention fund, which was established following Cyclone Debbie, the tropical typhoon that hit the Whitsundays Islands and their hinterland, a popular tourist area, only a few months ago. Cyclone Debbie severely damaged the area's tourism and agricultural infrastructure.
The 'Cross River Rail' project ,that has been discussed for over 10 years now, is included in the draft budget and for the first time it will be granted a State funding of over 2.5 billion dollars, for a total estimated amount of 5.4 billion dollars, to be fully financed by the Government of Queensland in the next financial years. The 'Cross River Rail' is one of Queensland's key infrastructure project that is expected to support growth in the Southern part of the Region by creating over 7,000 new jobs. The project envisages the construction of a railway tunnel connecting Brisbane existing urban railway networks. New underground stations at four inner city locations will significantly reduce commuting time and create better interconnections with the already existing railway lines.
For more information on the project, visit the official website at https://www.crossriverrail.qld.gov.au/, powered by the State government. The site will be constantly updated and new calls for tender published.