$200 m to build on jobs creation

by Jack McKay in an exclusive report in The Sunday Mail, 26th July, 2020

Hundreds of millions of dollars will be splashed on a new state government infrastructure fund to kickstart job-creating projects across Queensland and unlock private sector investment.

Treasurer Cameron Dick will today unveil the $200 million Building Acceleration Fund, which will work with councils, property developers and industry to accelerate infrastructure projects.

Applications for the fund will soon open for projects that can deliver substantial economic flow-on effects and be ready to begin construction within 12 months of receiving funding approval.

Mr. Dick said funding “catalytic infrastructure” would create jobs in the short term and unlock private investment in the long term. “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,” he said. “A similar program in 2017 delivered $3 of private sector investment for every $1 from the government and delivered hundreds of jobs. Post COVID-19 infrastructure investment will play a critical role in facilitating economic recovery.”

State Development Minister Kate Jones said the fund would target big projects to create thousands of jobs over the next five years. “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,” she said. The proponent must also co-invest 10-50 per cent of the total infrastructure project cost, depending on the scale of the project.”

Infrastructure projects that will be considered under the fund will include roads, water distribution, sewerage and wastewater projects as well as stormwater infrastructure. Other types of infrastructure will be considered if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Property Council of Australia state executive director Chris Mountford said the fund would serve as a “powerful economic multiplier” by un-locking long-term private sector investment. “Many worthwhile projects get delayed or scrapped as supplying the initial trunk infrastructure is too expensive, making projects unviable,” he said. “This fund has the potential to unlock hundreds of millions of dollars of private investment, creating much needed jobs for Queenslanders.”