QRC wants better deals on track
The Queensland Resources Council says the state government should embark on some “visionary” investment, and build more rail.
Speaking at a conference in Perth, Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Michael Roche to get involved in a commercial arrangement with private sector interests to for the development of multi-user Galilee Basin rail infrastructure.
“Perhaps the new Queensland Government will be prepared to break free from the straightjacket stifling government’s role in economic infrastructure over the past seven or eight years,” Roche said.
The QRC boss said that if the proposed State Infrastructure Plan is to work, it will need cooperation between state and federal governments as well.
“A consistent government position on infrastructure sends a strong signal to potential investors and potential customers,” he said.
“The QRC believes government has a genuine industry development role in infrastructure, noting there is not enough private capacity to pay for everything, as governments have come to expect.
“The global competitiveness of the Queensland resources sector has relied on the provision of high quality economic infrastructure ahead of demand.
“For the resources sector to take advantage of continuing Asian demand for minerals and energy, industry and government need to consider how best to provide infrastructure ahead of demand, and in a least-cost way. Now is the time to be investing in the next resources sector upswing. Ten years from now we don’t want to be playing catch-up.”
The Palaszczuk Government has been spruiking its new State Infrastructure Plan since the election earlier this year, saying it will provide a coordinated and integrated approach to the planning, prioritisation, funding and delivery of new infrastructure.
While it is aimed at public infrastructure in particular, some hope that the Government will seize opportunities with the private sector to find creative solutions for infrastructure delivery.
Roche said the QRC would back the Queensland Treasurer if federal infrastructure spending was blocked by politics.
“We will back Mr Pitt 100 per cent in calling on the federal government to ensure that Queensland gets its fair share of infrastructure funding,” he said.
“Tying federal support to the sale of state-owned assets is redundant as neither side of politics in Queensland is on board with further asset sales.”