Thousands of jobs in limbo, projects worth $4b stalled

 

MORE than $4 billion in ­Queensland projects have been stalled and thousands of jobs put on hold as exasperated federal MPs claim they cannot give away money to the ­Palaszczuk Government.

Thirty projects across the state - from major road upgrades, to new dams to a brand-new swimming pool for a public school - are ready to go, with some winning Commonwealth funding more than two years ago.

 

SCROLL DOWN TO FIND OUT WHICH MAJOR PROJECTS HAVE STALLED

 

A number of projects are fully funded, but the State Government has yet to move on tender and procurement processes. However, the ­majority of the investment is contingent on the Palaszczuk Government stumping up cash.

It is understood that in some cases, the state is waiting for projects to finish because it does not have the available workforce, despite the worst unemployment rate in the nation at 6.4 per cent, seasonally adjusted.

 

 

Bewilderment is growing among Queensland federal MPs, who are asking why the State Government is preventing the creation of thousands of new jobs, better roads and new facilities, including those that are shovel-ready.

Six months since the federal election - in a result where Annastacia Palaszczuk was banking on a Bill Shorten win - the State Government's position and funding on a number of projects ­remain uncertain.

It is understood a new deal between the Commonwealth and the state on stalled urban infrastructure projects could be done within a fortnight.

However, many regional projects will remain up in the air. Pointing to how ridiculous they believe the situation has become, Petrie MP Luke Howarth said that the State Government had even refused to take $2 million to build a swimming pool for a new public school at Mango Hill.

In correspondence to Mr Howarth in August, Education Minister Grace Grace said: "Queensland state schools are not designed with swimming pool infrastructure (and) the current master plan for the new secondary school in Mango Hill does not include provision for a swimming pool."

She also said $2 million was not enough money.

A Palaszczuk Government spokesman said the Premier had held positive discussions with Scott Morrison about jointly funded infrastructure projects in Queensland since the federal election.

"Senior members from both levels of government have had similarly positive meetings too. We're close to finalising terms of agreement on a number of projects that will create hundreds of jobs and pour substantial funding into Queensland,'' he said.

Fairfax MP Ted O'Brien said that the Beerburrum-to-Nambour rail upgrade, which is a State Government responsibility, had a commitment of $390 million from the Commonwealth, but Queensland was refusing to match the funding.

"The LNP's Team Queensland continues to carve out record funding for the state, but most of it goes via the state (Government) and that's where things come to a screeching halt,'' Mr O'Brien said. "It makes it harder for us to go for even more funding in Canberra when the money we've already allocated is just sitting there, waiting to be used.

"We are still waiting for the Palaszczuk Government to commit funding for a number of projects."

Fisher MP Andrew Wallace said: "There is absolutely no State Government funding committed during the next four years for the last phase of Bruce Highway upgrades between the southern Steve Irwin Way exit and Caloundra Rd, meaning the Federal Government's money cannot be spent until at least the mid-2020s.

"That's not good enough".

Dawson MP George Christensen said road and dam upgrades were desperately needed in his electorate.

"(Urannah Dam) ... is a huge project. I understand it could be couple of months before the State Government approves the project.

"The reality is we're funding the lot when it comes to this planning pre-construction work and we're happy for the funding agreement to be done right now," Mr Christensen said.

Maranoa MP David Littleproud said that the Queensland Government was asked to make a contribution towards Emu Swamp Dam that was even smaller than the farmers' share and it took months to get.

"Despite making a financial commitment, they now look to be going slow on approvals to avoid having to physically commit any money at all and effectively stopping the dam altogether,'' Mr Littleproud said.

Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien said that during the floods in 2013, the Bruce Highway was cut for almost 31 hours by flooding at Saltwater Creek.

"Our share of funding for projects like the Tiaro flood immunity works and upgrading the intersection of Bruce and Wide Bay highways has been committed for years," O'Brien said.

"But for whatever reason, we are still waiting to see ­construction on the ground."

 

THE MAJOR PROJECTS WE'RE STILL WAITING ON

 

Brisbane to Melbourne Inland Rail

$9.3 billion equity injection

Fully funded by the Commonwealth

The QLD Govt has yet to agree to it bilateral agreement (VIC and NSW have)

 

Beerburrum to Nambour Rail Upgrade

$780 million estimated total cost

$390 million committed by the Commonwealth

Waiting on $390 million from the QLD Government

The QLD Govt has committed just $160 million to the project.

 

Gold Coast Light Rail - Stage 3a

$709 million estimated total cost

$112 million committed by Commonwealth

No firm QLD Govt contribution to date

The QLD Govt has now announced a $351 million commitment to the project and sought an extra $157 million from the Commonwealth.

 

Bruce Highway - Mackay Ring Road Stage 2

$350 million estimated total cost

$280 million committed by Commonwealth

Waiting on $70 million from QLD Government

 

Cunningham Highway - Yamanto to Ebenezer (Amberley Interchange)

$340 million estimated total cost

$170 million committed by Commonwealth

QLD Government decided not to progress the project

 

Bruce Highway - Dohles Rocks Road

$150 million estimated total cost

$120 million committed by Commonwealth

Waiting on $30 million from QLD Govt

 

Bruce Highway - Linkfield Road Overpass

$125 million estimated total cost

$100 million committed by Commonwealth Government

Waiting on $25 million from QLD Govt

 

Urban Congestion Fund - M1 Pacific Motorway Intersection Upgrades (Exit 41 and Exit 49)

$100 million estimated total cost

$50 million committed by Commonwealth

QLD Govt has committed $96.3 million but have sought an extra $46.3 million from the Commonwealth

 

Urban Congestion Fund - Gympie Arterial Road

$100 million estimated total cost

$50 million committed by Commonwealth

Waiting on $50 million from QLD Government

 

Urban Congestion Fund - Ipswich Motorway Corridor

$100 million estimated total cost

$50 million committed by Commonwealth

Waiting on $50 million from QLD

But QLD Govt has decided not to progress project

 

Mount Isa to Rockhampton Corridor Upgrade

$237.5 million estimated total cost

$190 million committed by Commonwealth

QLD Government decided not to progress the project

 

M1 - Pacific Motorway (Daisy Hill to Loganholme)

Queensland Government yet to match the Commonwealth's $500 million commitment.

 

Gladstone Port Access Road Extension

Commonwealth has pledged $100 million, requiring state to stump up $25 million. The state has not agreed to stump up the cash.

 

Beaudesert Road/Mt Lindesay Highway

Commonwealth to stump up $50 million, requiring $50 million from state, which has refused to commit.

 

Commuter car park upgrade Mango Hill

Commonwealth to pay $4 million. Money is not matched by the State Government.

 

Brisbane North-West Transport Corridor business case

The Commonwealth have pledged $10 million but it has not been matched by the State Government.

 

Centenary Motorway Upgrade

The Commonwealth has pledged $10 million, requiring the State Government to cough-up $10 million, which has not been forthcoming.

 

Congestion bottleneck in Kenmore

The Federal Government has committed $12.5 million. The State Government took months to announce they were matching the funding but despite having a fully-funded project have failed to respond to any Commonwealth letters or contact in the past few months to provide a design on the project or timeframe on when they will get on and build it.

 

Toowoomba to Ipswich corridor

The Federal Government has committed $60 million for the project, requiring $15 million from the State Government, which has not committed to the project.

 

Emu Swamp Dam

The Federal Government will stump up $47 million, farmers $24 million and while the State Government has said it will pay the least at $13 million, it is being accused of "going slow" on approvals, with fears the dam will not go ahead.

 

Big Rock's Weir

The Commonwealth has committed $30 million and while the State Government has signed a a bilateral agreement with the Commonwealth to progress further assessment in July, it still has not committed to help fund the project.

 

Hughenden Irrigation Scheme

The Commonwealth will stump up $180 million, and the State Government has funded an initial investigation into the project but the project remains in limbo.

 

Shute Harbour Road at Hamilton Plains

The Commonwealth has committed $29.6 million, requiring $7.4 million from the State Government

 

Goorganga Plains

The Commonwealth has agreed to pay $12 million for Goorganga Plains to protect and preserve the corridor, which is a major floodplain that closes the Bruce Highway regularly. The State Government needs to commit $3 million andt needs to submit a 'Project Proposal Report' to allow the release of the funding.

 

Urannah Dam

To receive $10 million in Federal Government funding for pre-construction work to get the project to shovel-ready stage. The State Government has not yet signed off on it.

 

Hinkler Regional Deal projects funded by the Coalition Government which need State funding:

· $32 million Quay Street bypass to remove heavy vehicles and commuter traffic from this area

· $10 million safety upgrade for the Buxton Road intersection on the Bruce Highway

· $7.7 million to extend Urraween Road through to Boundary Road in Hervey Bay

 

Mango Hill High School pool

The Commonwealth pledged to provide $2 million to the State Government to build a pool at the new high school. It was rejected.

 

Off-ramps Griffin and Murrumba Downs

The Federal Government has committed $120 million to upgrade the off-ramps at Griffin and Murrumba Downs, north of Brisbane, but the State Government, which is required to contribute

$30 million, has not committed to the project.

 

Clean drinking water for Palm Island

During May election then Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion offered $2 million to deliver clean water to Palm Island. It was initially rejected but last month the State Government accused the Commonwealth of not paying up.

 

Brisbane Metro

Brisbane City Council will stump up $1 billion, while $300 million will be paid by the Federal Government. The State Government does not have to give a cent but they have to give approvals.

 

Circus performing arts centre

$1 million has been provided for a new home for circus performing arts, but the State Government is yet to provide the land in Stafford, Brisbane

 

Ballymore

The State Government has yet to match the Federal Government's $15 million pledge to Rugby Queensland