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Queensland has entered a bidding war with NSW and Victoria for a bigger portion of the $20 billion Building Australia fund, seeking to secure 30 per cent of the infrastructure money.
According to The Australian Financial Review, the Queensland Government has argued in its submission to Infrastructure Australia that the funding allocation methodology should consider each state’s population and economic growth, not just its population share.
Queensland’s share of population growth was 28.7 per cent in 2006-07, with its economy growing faster than NSW and Victoria.
“What we are saying is Queensland warrants substantial funding that takes into account its growth and its regional economy and the fact we are investing heavily ourselves,” Queensland Deputy Premier Paul Lucas told the paper.
“We’re not asking them to do our job. We’re asking them to assist us doing the job for the people of Queensland and because we have our hands in our pockets more than anyone else.”
The state’s submission lists 54 infrastructure projects revolving around three themes, which are eliminating urban congestion, supporting the resources boom and developing new industry facilities.
Among the key projects proposed are a $14 billion Brisbane rail network overhaul to cope with surging passenger and freight demand and a $1 billion industrial port for liquefied natural gas exports in North Queensland, as an alternative to Gladstone.
Mr Lucas stressed Queensland was outspending Victoria and NSW on upgrading infrastructure, allocating $17 billion for this fiscal year alone.
“We don’t want them to invest so we slacken off. We want them to invest so we can get the projects delivered sooner.
“I challenge anyone to say any project on that list isn’t important. We are happy for the Commonwealth to have its views. They are spending the money, so we’ll understand they will have their priorities,” he said.