By HARRY CLARKE
NEW research has listed the Inland Rail project and the MacIntyre Wind Farm as major components of a total $11.5 billion in projected infrastructure spending to occur between the Darling Downs and Maranoa regions over the next five years.
A report by the Queensland Major Contractors Association (QMCA), released in partnership with Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE), found the value of projects in the regional pipeline had increased by 22 percent since last year.
The QCMA’s annual Queensland Major Projects Pipeline Report indicates that of $61.9 billion in infrastructure spending across the state, a significant percentage was earmarked for southern regional Queensland.
“The report really highlighted the massive increase in investment that we’ve got coming forward in the next four to five years,” QCMA CEO Andrew Chapman (pictured) told a conference in Toowoomba.
“We haven’t been at these levels since 2013 and 2014.”
The report said the local pipeline was worth $11.5b, with projects such as Inland Rail, MacIntyre and Dulacca Wind Farms, CSG sustaining projects (QGC, Santos, Origin), Gangarri & Western Downs Solar Farms all contributing.
“The Darling Downs, Maranoa and Ipswich area have got $11.5 billion and 88 percent of that is actually funded work, so it’s looking very positive,” Mr Chapman said.
“It gives a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of comfort to industry to invest in skills, invest in technology and invest for the future.
“A bulk of that comes from renewable projects and Inland Rail. Yes, they are singular projects, but they are big investment programs over a long period of time.”
The Inland Rail project by ARTC is a new freight rail project, totalling $15 billion, that will connect Melbourne and Brisbane through regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
It is expected to be completed by 2026, according to a recent report in The Australian newspaper.
TSBE CEO Ali Davenport said the project was one of dozens in the Toowoomba and Surat Basin region that would continue driving development over the coming years.
“I think it’s a very exciting time in the construction sector,” Ms Davenport said.
“We’ve definitely noticed a lot of strain on the sector at the moment with so many major projects coming, companies fighting for skilled workers as well as challenges with securing products and price rises.
“So there’s a lot of headwinds but it is really exciting overall when you look at how many jobs and how much spending is going to come to the region.”
For the full Queensland Major Projects Pipeline Report visit the Queensland Major Contractors Association website.