The Toowoomba Second Range Crossing is one of regional Queensland's biggest infrastructure projects.
The Toowoomba Second Range Crossing is one of regional Queensland's biggest infrastructure projects. Starboard

Billions in regional infrastructure limbo

BILLIONS of dollars of regional infrastructure that could create thousands of jobs remain unfunded.

The annual Queensland Major Projects Pipeline report has found the state's infrastructure investment increased for the first time in years, but about $16 billion of projects remain unfunded.

BIS Oxford Economics report author Adrian Hart said across regional Queensland many private projects remained in limbo.

"When the mining boom when bust, so too did infrastructure investment,” he said.

"There are lessons that can be learned here because the public sector won't be able to do this on its own.”

Mr Hart said all levels of government needed to ensure approvals processes were accessible with less overlapping between jurisdictions.

Construction Skill Queensland CEO Brett Schimming said across the state projects that were already funded would create about 12,700 jobs and a further 4700 could be created if all planned projects were realised.

The report looks at the proposed, planned and in-construction projects with construction and engineering costs more than $50 million.

According to the report, Queensland's infrastructure spending was strongest in the southeast and north. But uncertainty remained for central and western areas.

Adani's Carmichael project was the only project in the Galilee Basin featured in the report, although labelled an "unlikely starter”.

The report found Gladstone's major project spend depended on the LNG and coal outlook for coming years.

"A recovery in Gladstone major project work depends heavily on whether further stages to existing LNG projects, or new LNG projects commence during the forecast period or are delayed by high cost pressures and the emergence of competitive threat,” the report read.

The report predicted mining and energy would "shape” major projects in the Bowen Basin, with renewable projects joining coal in importance.

"Activity in the Bowen Basin is increasingly underpinned by investment in renewable energy,” it read.

"Coal-related major projects shape the Bowen Basin but it is also becoming a focus for solar energy projects.”

Renewable energy projects are predicted to become increasingly important in the Surat Basin as would new coal seam gas developments.

But Mr Hart warned plans for new renewable power plants across the state would end around 2021 with government energy policy preventing further investment. -NewsRegional



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