PM, Premier sign up for massive cash splash

QUEENSLAND'S anaemic economy - limp with the worst unemployment rate in the country - will receive a $2 billion injection to fast-track construction jobs in a deal done between the Morrison and Palaszczuk governments.

Scott Morrison will reveal the biggest share of infrastructure acceleration will be for Queensland, in a bid to get more shovels in the ground and more hard hats on workers.

Under the deal, which marks signs of better co-operation between the Commonwealth and the state, Mr Morrison will stump up $1.3 billion - $650 million in funding that is brought forward plus $680 million in new funding.

With the Prime Minister today, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will unleash several hundred million dollars so work can be brought forward this on a number of projects, including the Bruce Highway.

Initially funding from the Commonwealth was allocated beyond the four-year forward estimates.

There will also be almost $95 million for M1 Pacific Motorway upgrades to be brought forward next year.

Annastacia Palaszczuk
Annastacia Palaszczuk

In another milestone, it can be revealed the Federal and State governments will sign a bilateral agreement for the inland rail project, which has already been ticked off between the Commonwealth, NSW and Victoria.

It will spark 7200 construction jobs and boost the Queensland economy by $7 billion.

Mr Morrison, who will give a landmark speech on Wednesday night in Sydney to the Business Council of Australia, will rev-up the national economy will almost $4 billion in accelerated infrastructure projects to stimulate jobs and activate consumer confidence.

The new funding for Queensland projects are mostly focused on the southeast corner to help get motorists out of the pits and home quicker.

Mr Morrison told The Courier-Mail it would mean more jobs and better roads for Queenslanders.

"We want these road and rail projects delivered as quickly as possible so Queenslanders can benefit from better infrastructure, but importantly we want to boost the economy now by bringing forward more than $440 million in federal funding on top of the nearly $3.8 billion we will spend across the state over the next 18 months," Mr Morrison said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is promising better roads for Queenslanders. Picture: David Clark
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is promising better roads for Queenslanders. Picture: David Clark

"By bringing forward these important road projects we will drive jobs, boost the economy and make Queensland roads and highways safer, while reducing travel times so people can be with their families instead of being stuck in traffic."

Ms Palaszczuk said the agreement would create jobs.

"I have always said we work best when we work together," the Premier said.

"We're getting projects off drawing boards to create more jobs in more industries and deliver the things that make people's lives better."

The extra money does not fund a long list of projects that The Courier-Mail revealed were on the backburner or being delayed because the State Government had yet to stump up cash or start the procurement process.

Recent data shows Queensland's economy is lacklustre, with growth at just 1.4 per cent in 2018-19, less than the national growth rate of 1.9 per cent. Construction growth is down 8 per cent, contributing to an unemployment of 6.5 per cent over the past year.

 

Scott Morrison
Scott Morrison

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