REVEALED: Where Rookwood sits on 'priority' list
A LOCAL businessman whose whole business is about infrastructure building says Central Queensland has finally stopped being ignored, but it could still do with more projects.
JM Kelly Managing Director Geoff Murphy has made the comment after the Federal Government released the Infrastructure Priority List on the weekend.
Infrastructure Australia, the nation's independent infrastructure advisor, has identified 100 projects and initiatives as national priorities in a newly revised Infrastructure Priority List.
The Infrastructure Priority List is the authoritative list of nationally-significant infrastructure investments Australia needs over the next 15 years. Based on data from the Australian Infrastructure Audit and extensive consultation with State and Territory Governments, the Priority List provides independent, evidence-based advice on the projects that will most benefit Australian communities.
In the list, the Rookwood Weir has been listed under the Priority Initiatives as a project that is proposed to be delivered in the 'near term' time frame.
This time frame is an upgrade to what it was listed as 12 months ago - 'medium term' time frame.
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry said this meant the project should be under way within the next five years.
"I'm pushing for Rookwood to be done as soon as possible,” she said.
"When I was elected, there had been business cases done in the past 30 years.
"I want to see it up and going. I just feel the State Government is dragging their heels on it.”
Other Central Queensland projects in the list include the Mackay Ring Road (High Priority) and Gladstone Port land and sea access upgrade (Priority Initiatives).
But it's not just Federal infrastructure projects that caught Mr Murphy's eyes.
The construction company owner has pushed for a CQ NRL team that would see the need for a sports stadium and convention centre built in Rockhampton to accommodate such a venture.
Since his arrival in the city in 1961, Mr Murphy has seen a lot of changes to the city of Rockhampton.
And the prominent businessman has been at the forefront of many of the city's major developments.
"It is great that we are getting some (infrastructure priority projects),” Mr Murphy said
"It is an improvement on what we have been getting in past years.
"I think other areas of Queensland are doing better than we are, particularly the likes of Townsville and Cairns.
”I think that we can do with more (infrastructure projects.”
Infrastructure Australia Chairman, Mark Birrell said the projects listed were the infrastructure Australia needs to boost quality of life and the economy.
"The Infrastructure Priority List identifies 100 major infrastructure proposals that have substantial strategic merit and national importance,” Mr Birrell said.
"The newly revised list features projects in urban centres and across the country that will improve connectivity and productivity. It now includes seven High Priority and 11 Priority Projects and the highest ever number of projects with approved business cases.”
According to The Australian, those projects are worth a combined $60 billion and have all been put through a business case and come with a cost estimate and the proponents' stated cost-benefit ratio.
The Rookwood Weir, with an $130 million commitment from the Federal Government already on the table, expected to be soon backed by a similar commitment from the State Government, will provide water for an agricultural boom west of Rockhampton which the Commonwealth believes will be worth about $1 billion to the region.
The updated Priority List also includes 25 High Priority Initiatives and 57 Priority Initiatives. These are proposals that have been identified to potentially address a nationally-significant problem, but require further development.
Infrastructure Australia advises on national infrastructure priorities and assesses the economic merits of projects with fully-developed business cases. All funding decisions are made by the governments or the private sector. The revised Infrastructure Priority List is now available at www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au.