The Palaszczuk Government has unveiled a $200 million catalytic infrastructure initiative to accelerate the plan to Unite and recover for Queensland jobs.
Treasurer and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick Minister said the Building Acceleration Fund will work in partnership with councils, property developers and industry to accelerate projects that unlock development, increasing construction activity and supporting long-term jobs.
“Our plan to Unite and Recover for Queensland jobs is focused on working with businesses large and small boost private sector investment to speed our economic recovery,” the Treasurer said.
“Funding catalytic infrastructure creates jobs in the short term and unlocks private investment in the long term.
“Post COVID-19 infrastructure investment will play a critical role in facilitating economic recovery.
“It is important that we are leveraging the capacity of the private sector to stimulate the economy and encourage job growth.
“We know the key to recover and increasing government revenue is getting Queenslanders working again, and catalytic programs like the Building Acceleration Fund are proven to deliver results.
“A similar program in 2017 delivered $3 of private sector investment for every $1 from the government and delivered hundreds of jobs.
State Development Minister Kate Jones said applications for funding through the Building Acceleration Fund would open soon for projects ready to commence construction within 12 months of funding approval, that demonstrate substantial flow-on economic benefits to local communities.
“We’re putting the pedal to the medal to fast track Queensland’s economic recovery,” Ms Jones said.
“The government has a clear strategy to lead Queensland through this pandemic. Infrastructure is crucial to this plan.
“Big projects that will create thousands of jobs over the next five years – that’s what we’re targeting with today’s cash injection.
“Co-investment funding will be provided for successful projects as an interest-free loan so they can start construction now and repay over 15 years.
“The proponent must also co-invest 10 to 50 percent of the total infrastructure project cost, depending on the scale of the project.”
Member for Logan Linus Power said the Building Acceleration Fund would provide a vital kickstart for employment throughout the broader Logan community.
“We know this type of investment is vital to supporting local jobs through the post-COVID recovery,” Mr Power said.
“If people are earning locally, they are spending locally, supporting small businesses right across the community.”
Queensland Executive Director of the Property Council, Chris Mountford, said that the fund was vital and had unique job creating potential that would help Queensland bounce back from the impact of COVID-19.
“This catalytic infrastructure fund will not only provide an immediate stimulus injection in the form of jobs, it will also serve as a powerful economic multiplier by unlocking private sector investment long term,” Mr Mountford said.
“Trunk infrastructure is costly to provide and often presents a significant barrier to the delivery of new development.
“Many worthwhile projects get delayed or scrapped as supplying the initial trunk infrastructure is too expensive, making projects unviable.
“This fund has the potential to unlock hundreds of millions of dollars of private investment, creating much-needed jobs for Queenslanders.
Lendlease Qld Head of Development, Guy Gibson said supporting infrastructure for communities like Yarrabilba is vital to properly accommodating the continued growth of the region. “Today’s announcement is an important milestone in ensuring that these major projects will continue to be well planned and appropriately serviced.”
Infrastructure projects are generally defined as roads, water distribution, sewerage/wastewater, stormwater infrastructure – however other categories of infrastructure will be considered provided they meet the eligibility criteria.