Port upgrade listed as an infrastructure priority
IMPROVING sea and land access to the city's port has been listed as an infrastructure priority in a Federal Government report.
The upgrade has been identified as one of the most important infrastructure needs in the country, to cope with the growing exports here.
The Australian Infrastructure Plan, released yesterday, listed the upgrade among the most important infrastructure needs in the country. The report said the upgrade was needed because of growing exports from the port.
"Improving connections to ports will be essential to supporting these industries," it read.
"Gladstone Ports Corporation has referred to a recent study which identified a number of opportunities to invest in infrastructure to underpin growth in Central Queensland's mining, export and agricultural sector(s)."
The upgrade would bring increased export capacity through channel management, new roads and bridge services and new rail infrastructure connecting the port with the Surat Basin.
Speaking to reporters at Brisbane Airport, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he wanted the Federal Government to become more involved in helping regional cities grow.
"Barnaby (Joyce) and I have just been in far north and central Queensland and we have been visiting cities there which we intend to support with the Commonwealth Government ... becoming much more engaged, much more of a partner in the development of city plans and in supporting city plans," he said.
Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad welcomed the plan and called on Canberra to help fund Queensland projects.
Infrastructure Association of Queensland chief Steve Abson welcomed the plan but said Queensland risked missing out on important funding.
"Overall, the ideas put forward in the Australian Infrastructure Plan have the potential to offer new scope for innovation in infrastructure and the IAQ supports the approach of a non-political, well considered forward plan for infrastructure across the country," he said.