Queensland Economic Advocacy Solutions

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Jobs and key infrastructure projects falling by the wayside

Much of the work QEAS does is behind the scenes for individual clients. It is great to see some this work underpin recent advocacy by Master Builders Queensland in the public domain.  Their media release is below together with links to the QEAS research.

HOSPITALS, schools and thousands of jobs – that’s what Queensland is missing out on.

The findings come from new research commissioned by Master Builders. The report, Establishing a Queensland Government Benchmark for Building and Construction Infrastructure Spending, was prepared by Queensland Economic Advocacy Solutions.

In the wake of the research, and with the 2018-19 Queensland Budget looming, Master Builders is urging government not to leave Queenslanders out in the cold again.

“In the last seven years, state government spending on public sector building and construction has decreased from $11 billion to $6 billion,” Master Builders Deputy CEO, Paul Bidwell said.

“The current level of public sector building and construction expenditure is at an historic low, stagnating at 1.8 per cent of Gross State Product (GSP).

“As a result, we’re losing the workers our Queensland builders have heavily invested in, because they have to follow the work and head interstate.

“That’s why in our recent budget submission we’ve asked the State Government to establish a Public Sector Building and Construction Capital Expenditure Benchmark. We’ve recommended that the benchmark be set at the 25-year average, which is 2.7 per cent of GSP. This needs to be an ongoing standard for the government’s investment in public sector building and construction.

“If we were to reach this benchmark, the additional government investment would mean an extra 26,000 Queensland jobs and desperately needed infrastructure.”

To meet this benchmark, the State Government needs to commit to spending a further $2.9 billion, on top of the $6 billion that was allocated for public sector building and construction in the 2017-18 State budget.

“We’re recommending that $1.3 billion of this additional funding should be earmarked for public sector residential and non-residential buildings; things like hospitals, schools and social housing.”

Queensland desperately needs these and we’ve been missing out.

Key industry stakeholders, like the Civil Contractors Federation Queensland (CCF Qld), support the view that State Government spending on public sector building and construction is well below what is needed for Queensland.

“Like Master Builders, we’ve been advocating for years that the level of State Government spending on infrastructure has been well below historical benchmark levels of percentage of Gross State Product. This report confirms this and we fully support its findings,” CCF Qld CEO, Damian Long said.

Master Builders’ research also confirms that the state government has been underspending its annual capital expenditure budget.

“Over the past three years alone, on average only 84 per cent of the state government’s allocated budget for public sector building and construction, was actually spent,” Mr Bidwell explained.

“This meant $4.3 billion fell by the wayside, which on average would have created an extra 13,000 jobs for Queenslanders each year.

Here’s the additional jobs that would be created in each region if the Queensland Government committed to increasing funding for public sector building and construction to the 25-year average. And there are thousands more jobs that would be created if the government simply spent the full amount allocated in the budget.

Master Builders has developed a comprehensive infographic to explain what we are asking the Queensland Government to deliver in the 2018-19 State Budget.

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