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Inland Queensland Roads Action Plan

  • Year: 2016
  • Author: IQ-RAP Working Group and Harrison Infrastructure Group
  • Journal Name: Inland Queensland Roads Action Plan (IQ-RAP)
  • Publisher: IQ-RAP Working Group c/ Secretariat at RDA Townsville and North West Queensland Committee
  • Published Location: Queensland
  • Country: Australia
  • State/Region: QLD

1. IQ-RAP is a bipartisan project funded by 33 local governments, 8 Regional Roads and Transport Groups, 4 RDA Committees, the NQ RDA Alliance and RACQ to drive regional economic development across regional Queensland. A Working Group to steer the project is made up of the 8 RRTG Chairs, 1 RACQ representative, 1 representative of the two local governments that are not represented by their RRTG and 1 RDA representative. A Working Group Project Team has undertaken the core work with the support of the Secretariat provided by the RDA Townsville and North West Queensland Committee (RDA TNWQ). 2. RDA TNWQ initiated the concept of an inland roads action plan in late 2013, based on the success of the Department of Transport and Main Roads’ (TMR’s) Bruce Highway Action Plan and advocacy support in securing $8.9 billion in funding commitments. RDA engaged a broad range of stakeholders: four other RDA Committees; local governments; TMR; Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning; the Department of Local Government, Community Recovery and Resilience; LGAQ and a broad range of industry stakeholders to hold forums in Longreach and Mount Isa to test the need, opportunity and appetite to progress the initiative which has become known as the Inland Queensland Roads Action Plan (IQ-RAP). Regional Roads and Transport Groups, local governments and RDA Committees embraced the idea and encouraged RDA TNWQ to take the initiative forward. RRTGs, RDAs and local governments all provided cash. TMR offered on-ongoing support through the provision of data. 3. The IQ-RAP area covers 1.4 million km2 which equates to 82% of Queensland and 19% of Australia. It is an economic powerhouse with the resources and energy, agriculture and tourism industries contributing significantly to export income and national Gross Domestic Product. 52% of Queensland’s economy, that is, $150 billion p.a. is generated outside Greater Brisbane. 4. The vision for the IQ-RAP is to increase the quality and accessibility of the road network to maximise the economic prosperity of inland Queensland, thereby contributing to Australia’s productivity, quality of life, safety and equity outcomes. 5. With the assistance of the Harrison Infrastructure Group, the IQ-RAP was developed using established roads planning and prioritisation methodology including the use of multi criteria analysis that reviewed Economic Value, Safety, Strategic Intent, Access and Social value. 6. The plan reviewed a total of 16,000 km of strategic road network in the region west of the Bruce Highway and outside SEQ and identifies 3,000 km of roads and 300 bridges that require upgrading to fit for purpose standards over the next 18 years. There is no “gold plating” or “blue sky build it so they will come”. The priorities are based on current demand and suitable standards to meet that demand. The multi criteria analysis can be updated with new data as new projects come on line that influence demand. 7. This plan is innovative as the first of its kind in Australia based on taking a strategic network-wide approach, over 18 years, over such a large area with so many contributing stakeholders. Our approach ticks all the boxes in Infrastructure Australia’s recently released Australian Infrastructure Plan Recommendation 4.1: State and territory governments should deliver long-term regional infrastructure plans. These plans should: • Identify gaps in infrastructure networks and identify priorities to support productive regional industries; • Be developed with involvement from all levels of government to help coordinate investments and remove duplication; • Provide transparency for the private sector to allow for government funding to be leveraged and private investment to be maximised; and • Assess the potential for regions to ease pressure on our largest cities. IQ-RAP also aligns with recommendations in the State Infrastructure Plan Strategy to address productivity issues and capture better value and benefits from infrastructure spending. 8. The IQ-RAP was publicly launched in Charters Towers in February 2016. This “final draft” has been used in consultation with key government and industry stakeholders. Minor amendments will be made as required based on feedback with a final revised version expected in May, 2016. 9. The IQ-RAP will deliver sustainable jobs, improve productivity for existing industries - such as resources, energy and agribusiness and businesses along supply chains, enhance competitiveness of exporters, support new private sector investment and improve resilience and connectivity for the delivery of goods and services to communities. 10. Over 18 years, the investment required to deliver the IQ-RAP is $5 billion. That is 0.19% of the Gross State Product (GSP) of $2,700 billion generated outside Greater Brisbane over that same period – based on current GSP. This breaks down to an average of $277 million p.a. expenditure over the 18 years to achieve these prioritised upgrades to the road network as well as achieving the regional economic benefits such as job creation, productivity improvements for all businesses and more resilient and reliable connectivity for communities.

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