QUEENSLANDERS want more money for health, congestion-busting roads, and safer highways, according to a recent poll undertaken by three leading industry bodies.
The poll of 1,000 Queenslanders was commissioned by Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, Infrastructure Association of Queensland, and the Property Council.
The results identified the areas where the community is demanding greater investment.
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Infrastructure Association of Queensland Chief Executive, Steve Abson, says that Queenslanders are feeling the impact of the state’s infrastructure deficit in their daily lives.
“With two thirds of Queenslanders wanting better planned and coordinated infrastructure, it is imperative that this month’s State Budget deliver across these key priority areas,” Mr Abson said.
In considering the areas where investment is most needed, two-thirds of Queenslanders rated healthcare infrastructure (82%), congestion-busting major roads and safer highways (78%), renewable energy (71%), schools and universities (68%), and dams and water supply (66%) as high priorities.
Infrastructure Partnerships Australia Chief Executive, Brendan Lyon, said the polling shows Queenslanders want modern hospitals and good roads and transport across all regions.
“But the budget will show again that Queensland’s broke and can’t pay for major new roads or hospitals, without a circuit breaker,” Mr Lyon said.
“Political leaders should be more transparent with the public about the terrible state of Queensland’s finances and more realistic about what it means in terms of less infrastructure.
“Queenslanders are already absorbing a hard landing from the resources boom and they could sure do with the jobs and they need the longer-term benefits from a big renewal of the state’s transport and health systems.”
While the results were largely consistent across the entire state, residents in North and Central Queensland rated dams and water supply (81%) a significantly higher priority.
In considering which local infrastructure proposals should be prioritised, Queenslanders have overwhelmingly identified road projects. The M1 Pacific Motorway was rated as a high priority across the state.
The Brisbane Metro project is considered extremely important to a majority in South East Queensland (54%), as are the Burdekin Falls (59%) and Hell’s Gate Dams (58%) to residents in the State’s North.
“It’s no surprise that the pieces of infrastructure that facilitate and accommodate growth were high on the list of priorities for Queenslanders,” Property Council Queensland Executive Director, Chris Mountford, said.
“Growth is inevitable and if governments fail to provide the infrastructure required to ease consequent road and rail congestion, or deliver vital services to new areas – then it has a very real impact on the community and on our economy,”
“Greater infrastructure investment doesn’t just create immediate jobs, but increases economic activity and increases the productivity and livability of our communities over the long-term.”