Client Update: Growth management and infrastructure initiatives for Queensland
27 May 2010
In brief: Queensland Premier Anna Bligh yesterday announced significant changes to Queensland's infrastructure and development planning frameworks, in response to projected population growth figures. Partners Ren Niemann (view CV) and Bill McCredie (view CV) and Senior Associate Nicholas Ng look at what is proposed.
- The Queensland Infrastructure Plan
- Growth Management Queensland and Infrastructure Charges Taskforce
The Queensland Infrastructure Plan
From 2011, a state-wide Queensland Infrastructure Plan will have replaced and subsumed the Roads Investment Program and SEQ Infrastructure Plan and Program. The new plan is intended to include:
- a State-wide blueprint of road, public transport, health and education infrastructure needs to match forecast population growth;
- a State-wide pipeline of targets with the credibility to attract Federal funding;
- a prioritisation, sequencing and assessment of projects across all of Queensland's regional planning frameworks; and
- significant economic development activities (such as the LNG industry) and associated infrastructure needs.
The plan will therefore outline, for the first time, a pipeline of infrastructure projects throughout Queensland that is likely to facilitate a truly coordinated approach to infrastructure delivery. The plan should, like the SEQ Infrastructure Plan and Program, provide the private sector with greater confidence about the State's infrastructure delivery program and the pipeline of work. This should, in turn, help industry to better prepare for such projects, including making appropriate budget and resource commitments, as such projects progressively come to the market.
The possibility of the plan incorporating new categories of projects, such as LNG projects, means it has the potential to provide many new opportunities, and may help to give structure and direction to creating and developing new industries and growth.
A new statutory body, Growth Management Queensland, will coordinate the State's response to the important issue of population growth management. Growth Management Queensland will, according to yesterday's announcement, play a key role in the infrastructure planning process, particularly in the context of regional planning.
Growth Management Queensland will also be responsible for:
- improving development approval processes in Queensland (something that will be keenly welcomed by the construction industry);
- creating delivery timetables for land supply;
- accelerating development of infill sites and delivering priority transit oriented development precincts; and
- protecting and improving liveability.
Again, the introduction of this new statutory body is likely to give the private sector greater certainty about when, where and how significant development will take place throughout the State.
Supplementing the establishment of Growth Management Queensland is a new Infrastructure Charges Taskforce. The taskforce is charged with reviewing how infrastructure charges currently operate throughout the State, with a view to introducing a simpler and more certain approach. This is aimed at addressing the critical issue of housing affordability while, at the same time, providing developers with greater certainty and consistency in contributing to the significant costs of infrastructure.
With the State's formal response to the Growth Management Summit to be provided, there is sure to be further detail as to how the population growth issues will be addressed. Allens will continue to review these developments as they unfold.
- Ren NiemannPartner,
Ph: +61 7 3334 3005
- Bill McCrediePartner,
Ph: +61 7 3334 3049
- Tony DaviesPartner,
Ph: +61 7 3334 3250
- Leighton O'BrienPartner,
Ph: +61 2 9230 4205
- Emma WarrenPartner, Sector Leader - Infrastructure & Transport,
Ph: +61 3 9613 8856
- Michael HollingdalePartner,
Ph: +61 8 9488 3708