Roads infrastructure

A reliable and efficient transport network is critical to the economy of North Queensland and for moving goods from production to export.

There are key opportunities for sophisticated and interconnected supply chains through infrastructure development, including roads as an economic enabler. The government continues to play a key role in infrastructure maintenance and development.

With a significant land area, there is a challenge in moving goods from production to export. It is crucial that transport and main roads networks are reliable and support North Queensland trade.

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Advancing North Queensland through:

  • Improving supply chain infrastructure.
  • Providing investor confidence.
  • Improving efficiency of the transport of goods.
  • Stimulating jobs growth.

We're advancing North Queensland by:

  • Submitting priority projects and packages to the federal government.
  • Making submissions to the federal government’s $600 million Northern Australia Roads Program and the $100 million Northern Australia Beef Roads Program.
  • Releasing the State Infrastructure Plan, foreshadowing a range of projects in North Queensland.
  • Detailing the needs of North Queensland to Infrastructure Australia.
  • Accelerating priority works in the 10-year Bruce Highway upgrade program.
  • Implementing North Queensland components of the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program, key investments include:
    • $70 million towards construction of Mackay Ring Road (Stage 1), total estimated $497.8 million.
    • $16 million to seal sections of the Kennedy Developmental Road between Hughenden and Lynd , totalling $50 million.
    • $16.3 million to replace the bridge and approaches for flood immunmity at Cape River on the Gregory Developmental Road, totalling $34.6 million.
    • $39.1 million to continue upgrades to the Peninsula Developmental Road as part of the $260.5 million Cape York Regional Package.

We're committed to further advancing North Queensland through:

Priority roads and rail:
  • Working with stakeholders to finalise implementation arrangements for $5 billion for North Queensland under the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program 2017–18 to 2020–21.
  • Working to secure Queensland's fair share of funding under the Developing Northern Australia White Paper's $600 million Northern Australia Roads Program and the $100 million Beef Roads Program, and shaping implementation of these projects in the north.
  • Engaging with the federal government to negotiate funding outcomes to:
    • progressively upgrade the Mount Isa to Townsville rail corridor, including the Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor.
    • accelerate the 10-year Bruce Highway upgrade works.
    • progress the National Land Transport Network renewal.
    • provide key upgrades to the Flinders Highway and other key freight routes.
  • Ongoing advocacy for North Queensland to federal government ministers.
Beef roads:
  • Conduct discussions with local government and other key stakeholders.
  • Deliver Northern Australia Beef Roads Program priorities in North Queensland over the next three years.

This priority area has links to:

Water and energy security

Water and energy security is critical for North Queensland to sustain agricultural industries and boost jobs and regional development.

Water and energy security and infrastructure needed to diversify future economic interests of the region are issues commonly raised by stakeholders throughout North Queensland. The government invests significantly across North Queensland in water and energy initiatives.

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Advancing North Queensland through:

  • Establishing water priorities.
  • Exploring new ways to power the North.
  • Increasing investment.
  • Improving infrastructure to enhance access to export markets.
  • Stimulating jobs growth.
  • Improving investor confidence.
  • Stimulating regional economic activity.

We’re advancing North Queensland by:

  • Leading Queensland’s response to the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund (NWIDF).
  • Providing advice on applications for dam and water feasibility studies under the NWIDF (Part 1).
  • Engaging with the federal government on state priorities for a fair share of NWIDF funding.
  • Introducing the Cape York Water Resource Plan to deliver sustainable water management to the Cape, providing certainty and opportunity for development and Indigenous purposes. Preliminary hydrologic, socio-economic, cultural heritage and environmental technical assessments have been undertaken.
  • Planning investment and delivery of water infrastructure, projects and regional water priorities, as outlined in the State Infrastructure Plan.
  • Funding water infrastructure in North Queensland, including $225 million for Townsville water security measures.
  • Delivering the $120 million Indigenous Water Infrastructure Program in Indigenous communities across Queensland.
  • Investing $386 million for the Powering North Queensland Plan.
  • Facilitating large-scale renewable energy projects, representing more than 780 megawatts (MW) of generation capactity. These projects will deliver $1.6 billion of infrastructure spending to the North, while creating over 1400 jobs. This includes two projects supported directly by the governments's Solar 150 program.

We’re committed to further advancing North Queensland through:

  • Continuing to undertake Regional Water Supply Security Assessments.
  • Leading state decision-making on the capital component of the NWIDF (Part 2).
  • Continuing to work with councils at risk of running out of water due to drought.
  • Engaging with stakeholders in the region when funding decisions have been made through the NWIDF and shaping implementation of these projects in the north.
  • Developing strategic transmission infrastructure in North and North-West Queensland.
  • Commissioning a hydro-electric study to assess optoins for deploying hydro in the state.
  • Upgrading the Burdekin Falls Dam and developing the Burdekin hydro power project.
  • Creating an attractive investment environment (in addition to existing financially supported projects) to encourage more renewable energy projects in the North, with over 2000 MW of proposed projects in the pipeline.

This priority area has links to:

Research and innovation

Strengthening existing operations and harnessing emerging opportunities through research and innovation is immensely important for agriculture and aquaculture industries.

This priority wil advance North Queensland through influencing and advancing Australia's research agenda with North Queensland expertise. In partnership with industry and researchers, it will foster innovation and lead to creation of jobs in North Queensland, as well as create a major boost for producers and agri-business throughout the north of the state.

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Advancing North Queensland through:

  • Influencing and advancing Australia’s research agenda with North Queensland expertise.
  • Generating at least $150 million in research to improve the productive capacity of North Queensland’s agricultural industry.
  • Leveraging North Queensland’s tropical expertise.
  • Diversifying the regional economy.
  • Creating sustainable jobs of the future.
  • Physically basing expertise in the region.

We’re advancing North Queensland by:

  • Developing a capability statement in research for North Queensland agriculture and tropical health.
  • Collaborating with industry and research partners.
  • Successfully lobbying to secure headquarters in North Queensland for the $75 million Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRC).
  • Leveraging North Queensland’s tropical research expertise.
  • $1.5 million over three years to stimulate research activity to progress the development of new agriculture in North Queensland, including through leveraging the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia.

We’re committed to further advancing North Queensland through:

  • Considering program consistencies and leveraging opportunities between Advance Queensland and the CRC to influence the research focus for North Queensland.
  • Building on the work of the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine.
  • Identifying opportunities for private investment into North Queensland through the NAIF to maximise the CRC’s commercial and social impact.
  • Meeting quarterly with the CRC board.
  • Developing the $10 million Cairns Innovation Centre.
  • Encouraging connectivity and collaboration by local innovators and entrepreneurs through implementation of the $6 million Regional Innovation Program.

This priority area has links to:

Tourism, trade and investment

As North Queensland’s economy diversifies, a greater focus on tourism, trade and investment will present significant opportunities to create jobs and increase economic activity.

The Queensland Government has taken measures to increase North Queensland’s global recognition by actively promoting investment-ready projects located in North Queensland through Trade and Investment Queensland, including aquaculture and agribusiness schemes, biofuels plants, tungsten mines and infrastructure projects to support tourism linked to the Great Barrier Reef.

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Advancing North Queensland through:

  • Highlighting regional strengths in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy and Advancing Queensland Tourism Strategy.
  • Increasing investment in the region.
  • Improving North Queensland’s global recognition.
  • Increasing marketing tools to focus commercial investment attraction.
  • Growing the tourism sector.
  • Increasing market access for industry.
  • Developing extra freight and export capacity.
  • Reducing export costs.

We’re advancing North Queensland by:

  • Contributing $60 million to the Cairns shipping development project to widen and deepen the Trinity Inlet channel and swing basin at the Port of Cairns.
  • Delivering $10 million to the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund and $400 million to Tourism and Events Queensland to focus on statewide marketing and events investment that will benefit North Queensland, including:
    • the Tourism Network Funding Program 2016–2019
    • marketing iconic experiences, such as natural encounters, reef, islands, beaches, events and Queensland lifestyle
    • supporting major and destination events including the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, the Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo in Outback Queensland, Cairns Indigenous Art Fair and Port Douglas Carnivale in Tropical North Queensland, Mackay Festival of Arts in Mackay and& Whitsunday Reef Festival in the Whitsundays
    • delivering experience development programs to assist industry.
  • Supporting whole-of-government trade and investment mission activities, and promoting investment-ready projects located in North Queensland.
  • Ensuring materials for trade and investment missions highlight the region’s tropical expertise.
  • Working with the tourism industry to showcase the best experiences of North Queensland to the world.
  • Providing an additional $175 million to deliver the Great Barrier Reef Water Quality Program.
  • Increasing funding for the Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger Program by $8.1 million to support environmental management and eco-tourism.
  • Providing $176 million to extend the Cairns Convention Centre.
  • Allocating $10 million for the Transport and Tourism Connections program to allow local governments to access shared funding to improve approaches to tourist and culturally significant sites across western Queensland.
  • Providing $33.5 million under the Advance Queensland—Connecting with Asia Package to focus on increasing Queensland’s share of the Asian tourism market.
  • Promoting the $40 million Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Fund.
  • Providing $200 million of additional funding for Works for Queensland to support job creating, local government maintenance and minor infrastructure works across regional Queensland.

We’re committed to further advancing North Queensland through:

  • Promoting regional workshops through Trade and Investment Queensland, the Department of State Development and the Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games.
  • Delivering the $35 million Queensland investment strategy: Advancing Trade and Investment—Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022, which has a strong regional focus.
  • The strategy includes establishment of a regional Trade and Investment Office in Townsville.
  • Delivering the Advancing Tourism 2016–20 strategy that will seize on Queensland’s competitive advantages to grow tourism, including North Queensland tourism.
  • Increasing air route seat capacity into North Queensland and attracting new aviation routes into North Queensland.
  • Providing a forum for tourism operators and industry to maximise opportunities for North Queensland.
  • Working with high-end tourism operators to better position North Queensland.
  • Building relationships with emerging significant cities in Asia to attract visitors.
  • Increasing the digital capabilities of tourism operators.
  • Identifying opportunities for development or refurbishment of demand-driving infrastructure.

This priority area has links to:

North Queensland Stadium

Infrastructure and development are critical to the success of North Queensland’s economy.

As North Queensland’s economy transitions, the region’s infrastructure will need to keep pace with diversifying industries and shifting demands. The challenge of North Queensland’s growth and diversification requires long-term commitment from the public and private sectors, working together to produce positive outcomes for the region.

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Advancing North Queensland through:

  • Raising North Queensland’s profile, creating jobs and improving liveability.
  • Increasing public and private investment in North Queensland infrastructure.
  • Stimulating urban renewal.
  • Attracting more domestic and international visitors to Townsville.

We’re advancing North Queensland by:

  • Committing up to $40 million of additional funding to construct the stadium, meaning a total financial commitment of up to $140 million for the $250 million project supporting up to 750 jobs.
  • Recognising the need for a best-practice regional stadium model as identified through the business case.
  • Continuing to work with the federal government, the Townsville City Council, the National Rugby League (NRL), and the North Queensland Cowboys to finalise funding commitments to build the stadium.
  • Contracting KPMG to advise on procurement models and market-sounding delivery.
  • Appointing Watpac as the managing contractor.

We’re committed to further advancing North Queensland through:

  • Exploring and identifying uses for the stadium beyond the NRL (e.g. V8 supercars events, the A-League, concerts, sports medicine facilities) to increase appeal to potential investors.
  • Supporting the Queensland Government’s best‑practice regional stadium model as identified through the business case.
  • Ensuring there is a focus on local jobs and holding forums to help local businesses get involved.

This has links to the government’s election commitment:

Latest announcements

  • Palaszczuk Government delivers Affordable Energy Plan for regional Queenslanders

    Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports and Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply | The Honourable Mark Bailey | Monday, October 23, 2017

    The Palaszczuk Government will use the benefits of public ownership to cut $125 a year from household bills and $120 off small business bills as part of a $2 billion Affordable Energy Plan.

  • Three new aircraft will boost police operations in the North

    Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Corrective Services | The Honourable Mark Ryan | Sunday, October 22, 2017

    The Palaszczuk Government’s $47 million investment in two new rescue helicopters and one new fixed wing aircraft for North Queensland will also boost aerial policing for the region.

  • Burdekin Hydro plans powering ahead

    Minister for Main Roads, Road Safety and Ports and Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply | The Honourable Mark Bailey | Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland | The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke | Friday, October 06, 2017

    A hydro-electric power station on the state’s largest dam—Burdekin Falls Dam—to secure energy and support jobs for North Queensland moved a step closer today.

North Queensland Office

Ph:
07 4758 3433
Postal adress
PO Box 5671, Townsville, QLD 4810
Email
dpcpolicynqld@premiers.qld.gov.au