Three key infrastructure challenges and opportunities unique to engaging communities in Qld

Demi Barnett

Demi Barnett

The rapid growth of Queensland comes with challenges and opportunities. One of the key players shaping our state is the construction sector – the second-largest employer in the state with 245,100 people employed in the industry in 2019-20, which contributed $27.3 billion (8.1% of total output) to Queensland’s economy in that same year, making it the State’s third-largest sector.

Queensland reports faster domestic growth than the rest of Australia

Since the start of the pandemic, Australians have been flocking to Queensland. Our state received 30,000 interstate migrants in 2020. Queensland is expecting another 85,000 Australians (the equivalent of a city like Rockhampton!) to call Queensland home over the next four years. This means the Queensland government will need to adjust by building and improving roads, schools, hospitals, and support programs.

The 2021-22 budget will continue to support the current health crisis and the migration of thousands from other parts of the country, by investing in the following:

  • $22.2b in health
  • $18.3b in education and training
  • $14.1b in infrastructure
  • $3.34b in the Queensland Jobs Fund for key industry attractions and industry development program.

Supporting the tourism sector

More than half of tourism businesses are in regional areas and, in some regions like the Whitsundays, tourism accounts for up to one in three jobs.

Despite the disruptions of COVID-19 to traditional supply chains, there is a rising demand for Queensland’s clean, green, food and agricultural products and our resources, skills, and services. Did you know that around 40 percent of these exports are based in regional Queensland?

Therefore, it is essential that local partnerships are recognised as key drivers to support regional business and industry. It’s imperative that community and stakeholder engagement is prioritised, to facilitate a high level of trust and open communication, in order to create a mutual vision for the future.

The construction boom in Regional Queensland

Regional Queensland is set for a massive boom, which will provide regional communities the opportunity to be involved in shaping the future of their region.

While multiple projects are happening concurrently across the region, the construction industry will need to be smarter about the ways it delivers projects. Additionally, new technologies will need to be utilised in order to engage with stakeholders in a more efficient and meaningful way.

A boom in the construction industry can mean an increase in job prospects for regional towns. Projects such as the $1.1 billion investment to the Rockhampton Ring Road and the widening of the route between Caboolture-Bribie Island Road and Steve Irwin Way worth $662.5 million, are recent examples of how this boom can positively impact local employment.

With so many projects shaping Queensland’s future, it’s an important time for projects to not merely engage with stakeholders, but also work together and build legacies that bring long-term benefits to communities.

Three key infrastructure challenges and opportunities unique to engaging communities in Qld
Demi Barnett
November 1, 2021
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