Infrastructure Australia (IA) plays an important role in prioritising nationally important infrastructure initiatives. In 2014, Infrastructure Australia undertook comprehensive audits of existing national and northern Australia infrastructure for the Australian Government to inform the development of a 15-year Australian Infrastructure Plan.

The department coordinates Queensland's whole-of-government submissions to Infrastructure Australia outlining Queensland's priority infrastructure projects and funding requirements. The department is also the central coordinator for project-related and other responses to Infrastructure Australia such as the Australian Infrastructure Audit.

Australian Infrastructure Plan and updated Infrastructure Priority List

On 17 February 2016, IA released the Australian Infrastructure Plan and updated Infrastructure Priority List (IPL). The plan sets out the infrastructure challenges and opportunities Australia faces over the next 15 years and the solutions required to drive productivity growth, maintain and enhance our standard of living, and ensure our cities remain world class.

The department has undertaken a review of the Australian Infrastructure Plan, in consultation with other agencies; examining each of the 78 reform recommendations and implications for the state.

Many of the recommendations for infrastructure reform made in the Australian Infrastructure Plan will be supported by the Queensland Government as they are consistent with Queensland's approach to smarter infrastructure planning and investment contained in our own State Infrastructure Plan (SIP).

On 24 November 2016, the Australian Government provided its response to the plan, indicating that it supports 69 of the recommendations.

The response announced four major new initiatives:

  • development a freight and supply chain strategy
  • development of urban rail plans for Australia’s major cities
  • a study to investigate and communicate the benefits and impacts of land transport market reform
  • access to better and more timely data.

IA's IPL is broadly grouped as:

  • Initiatives: priorities that have been identified to address a nationally significant need, but require further development and rigorous assessment to determine and evaluate the most appropriate option for delivery.
  • Projects: priorities that have undergone a full business case assessment by Infrastructure Australia and that will address a nationally significant problem and deliver robust economic, social or environmental outcomes.

Each project and initiative on the IPL includes a broad indication of when the project is likely to be delivered. Projects will normally remain on the list until construction or delivery is underway. For initiatives, the timeframes indicate when the problem is likely to have a material impact on national productivity. These timeframes are defined as:

  • within 5 years (near-term)
  • within 10 years (medium-term)
  • within 15 years (longer-term)
  • expected to be more than 15 years (future).

The IPL is a ‘rolling’ list which is updated periodically as proposals move through stages of development and delivery and to respond to emerging challenges and opportunities. In addition, IA publishes an annual ‘refresh’ of the IPL including new infrastructure Initiatives submitted by state and territory governments. The 2017 annual update was published by IA on 25 February 2017 and included two new projects and three new initiatives for Queensland.

Queensland's inclusions on the IPL (including some national initiatives involving Queensland)

The IPL confirms Cross River Rail as one of Australia's highest priority infrastructure initiatives in line with Queensland priorities.

The department will continue its dialogue with Infrastructure Australia and the Australian Government to progress projects on the current IPL and ensure important Queensland initiatives and projects are included on future lists.

List of Queensland and Queensland-related projects on the Infrastructure Priority List

Ipswich Motorway – Rocklea to Darra Stage 1c (funded)

M1 Pacific Motorway upgrade - Mudgeeraba to Varsity Lakes (funded)

M1 Pacific Motorway - Gateway Motorway merge upgrade (funded)

Mackay Ring Road – Stage 1 (funded)

Bruce Highway upgrade - Cooroy to Curra Section C (funded)

Inland Rail (Melbourne to Brisbane via inland NSW)

List of Queensland and Queensland-related initiatives on Infrastructure Priority List

Cross River Rail (passenger rail connection to and through Brisbane CBD)

Port of Brisbane dedicated freight rail connection

Ipswich Motorway Rocklea—Darra (remaining sections)

National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy

Preserve corridor for East Coast High Speed Rail

Network Optimisation Portfolio

Bruce Highway upgrade

Beerburrum to Nambour rail upgrade

Gladstone Port land and sea access upgrade

Mount Isa to Townsville rail corridor upgrade

Cunningham Highway - Yamanto to Ebenezer/Amberley upgrade

Salisbury to Beaudesert rail (options assessment)

Brisbane to Gold Coast transport corridor upgrades – (options assessment)

Lower Fitzroy River water infrastructure development

Advanced Train Management System (ATMS) implementation on ARTC network

Connect gas suppliers to eastern gas markets