The Queensland government is currently assessing $78 billion worth of significant construction projects with the potential to create 40,000 jobs, Queensland Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney says.
In an address to the Major Projects Conference in Brisbane, Seeney said the government is currently considering 35 major projects, and had already approved a number of significant schemes, such as the $1.4 billion Ella Bay Resort, the $1.6 billion Alpha Coal Project and the South of Embley bauxite mine since coming to office in March.
“Those 35 significant projects together have the potential to generate $78 billion in capital investment and over 40,000 jobs,” he said.
In recent times, the government has won plaudits from the property development industry for a number of measures aimed at simplifying the process for developments to get off the ground.
These include the establishment of a bilateral agreement with the federal government for environmental approvals; amendments to give local governments greater flexibility and say in making and amending town planning schemes; and amending the State Planning Act to create a one-stop shop for developers seeking state government approval for developments, remove master and structure planning arrangements that the industry deemed inefficient and expand the power of the Planning and Environmental Court.
Despite taking aim at the federal government for slowing down approvals in the past, Seeney said the new bilateral agreement should help, and that the Ella Bay development will be an interesting test of this agreement.
“That bilateral agreement requires the Commonwealth to adhere to timelines in the approvals process,” he told attendees at the conference. “Something that they have been woefully inadequate in doing in the past.”
Despite a subdued outlook in building, the latest forecasts suggests that the civil construction sector in Queensland will continue to experience extremely strong levels of activity amid a strong backlog of mineral, gas and associated infrastructure projects.