We ask what the upcoming Queensland election will mean for the building and construction industry, as major parties prepare to wrap up their campaign efforts.
Building and construction in the 2017 Queensland election
Queenslanders will head to the polls this weekend to elect their state government for the next four years.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk called the snap election for November 25, after the center-left Labor Party lost its legislative majority and faced a hung parliament.
It’s safe to assume the main players will take advantage of these final moments to squeeze in their promises before polling day. On the construction front, Labor and the opposition LNP (Labor National Party) have already voiced different priorities.
Their approach to infrastructure lies at the heart of this disparity. To explain it by skimming over the surface, Labor is planning to spend $21 billion over four years to boost transport, while the Opposition LNP wants to build roads and dams, as well as introduce planning commissions for hospitals and schools.
To break it down a little further, some of Labor’s infrastructure promises include spending:
- $21 billion over four years to improve the Pacific Motorway between Brisbane and the Gold coast
- $1 billion each year to upgrade the Bruce Highway
- $200 million each year to target productivity, safety and flood resilience projects along the Bruce Highway. This will boost an initial $175 bulk investment.
- $308 million to build and upgrade schools through the Building Better Schools program
- $200 million to build regional infrastructure and improve the disaster infrastructure of regional communities (this initiative will add up to 6,600 employment opportunities through the Works for Queensland program).
On the other side of the battlefield, the LNP is keen to introduce planning reform that cuts down on red tape and makes it easier for new projects to get underway. Their infrastructure promises include spending:
- $215 million to build the Sunshine Coast Hospital Link Road
- $30 million on the Brisbane Metro Project
- $180 million to improve and upgrade road bridges and M1 Ramps
- $1.3 billion on a program to build new dams
- $176 million to support the Cairns Convention Centre Project
On a wider front, Labor is chasing extensive reforms for the construction sector, under its ten-point building plan that was released last month. The objective is to improve building practices across critical areas, such as payment security and building certification. But the details of how this will unfold won’t be clear, until a new government is in place.
Regardless of the election outcome, Master Builders is asking the new government to strengthen the construction industry by introducing professional development schemes and committing to other measures.
Representatives from the Australian Institute of Architects, Engineers Australia and the Property Council of Australia have also weighed in to the discussion by highlighting the areas they would like the government to prioritise.