Media Release: Government must fast-track major projects
Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE) is calling on the Federal and State Governments to fast-track major infrastructure projects to provide a pipeline of work and help cushion the economic impact of COVID-19 for our region.
TSBE CEO Ali Davenport said project approvals are vital to ensuring economic sustainability.
“The best role Governments can play when there is any sort of downturn is to start spending on infrastructure and keep people in jobs,” Ms Davenport said.
“We have infrastructure projects that have been approved and we just need the Government to move as quickly as possible so the economic benefits can flow through our region.”
Inland Rail is one such project that is worth $5 billion to the local economy, with approximately 2,000 jobs to be generated, but is being held up due to perceived issues with the alignment.
“There’s a group based in Millmerran who believe the flood modelling that has been completed for the Condamine Flood Plain is flawed, despite many different companies who are experts in hydrology reviewing and verifying the data.”
Additionally, the Southern Darling Downs Community Consultative Committee also nominated independent flood modelling expert Dr John Macintosh, who has 25 years water engineering experience, to review the modelling, and he deemed the process to be sound,” Ms Davenport said.
Whilst TSBE respects the rights of those opposed to this project to have their say, there also comes a time when the experts need to be trusted and the project must go ahead for the good of the region and the nation.
Ms Davenport said that time is now.
“Inland Rail will provide construction jobs but also long-term growth as it will enable Toowoomba to become a transport and logistics hub.”
“This could potentially create many thousands of jobs, so it is imperative that the project goes ahead as soon as possible.”
Another project which is not shovel-ready, but has been announced by the State Government, is the Toowoomba to Warwick water pipeline, announced by Premier Palaszczuk late last year.
TSBE is calling on the State Government to not only fast track this project but to also ensure that local contractors are given priority opportunities, which will guarantee local jobs.
“We have many local businesses who are incredibly experienced and capable of working on this project.”
“If the Toowoomba to Warwick pipeline work was broken up into sections then many capable local companies such as FKG Group, Wagners, Newlands Group and Hutchinson Builders would all gain opportunities and our locals would have long-term jobs,” Ms Davenport said.
Another opportunity is the Southern Queensland Correctional Centre based in Gatton which is worth $620 million with construction planned for completion by 2023.
For more information on how to link to opportunities, contact TSBE – www.tsbe.com.au