While many business owners will be preoccupied with their end of the financial year obligations it’s worth taking some time to look ahead into the 21/22 financial year as to what business opportunities may be ahead for your operation. For those in construction, mining, agriculture and infrastructure, many of the key business growth prospects come in the policies and projects implemented by state governments. These are outlined in the annual state budget and May-June is the timing for these announcements. The Federal Budget is key to establishing income tax measures such as asset depreciation etc and many key projects are included in this annual announcement. But the majority of major project announcements are in state budgets.
Cameron Dick, Queensland Treasurer, tabled the QLD 2021/22 State Budget on 15 June and it includes an extensive list of capital works projects with potential business opportunities for this in the construction, mining and infrastructure sector. Mentioned in pre-budget announcements was also the prospect of the 2032 Olympics being held in Brisbane. A prospect that is looking very positive and should present business opportunities for many operators in many sectors.
Queensland operators may be encouraged by the Treasurer’s announcement that the state’s economy was actually larger now than before the coronavirus pandemic took hold. He forecast that the economy would grow further at a rate of 3.25% over the 21/22 financial year. A rate that is nearly twice that of the national economic growth forecasts.
He noted in the budget documents the significant migration to the state of 30,000 people in 2020 with a further 85,000 expected over the next 4 years. Population growth of this size can be significant to many businesses.
While noting the upsides the budget notes also include cautions that the pleasing performance of the state’s economy still faces potential threats and risks from the global rollout of the vaccination program no doubt especially on tourism; the trade tensions impacting Australia especially in relation to coal; and the general geopolitical situation.
As with the Federal Budget, the QLD budget makes jobs growth a major priority. The state budget includes a ‘flagship’ measure – the Queensland Jobs Fund. This $3.34 billion initiative is designed to increase growth within the private sector and to drive jobs growth.
Another significant initiative is the $2b for the Renewal Energy and Hydrogen Fund.
Building Projects and Capital Works
The states are responsible for implementing much of the national infrastructure often jointly funded by the Australian Government. As stimulus measures, significant programs have been implemented over the past 18 months and QLD’s existing $52.2b over 4 years capital works program continues.
Some of the specific projects noted in the budget include works on the Bruce Highway:-
- Rockhampton Ring Road $1.1b
- $1b Cooroy-Curra upgrade to 26 klms near the town of Gympie
- Widening of the section of the highway between Steve Irwin Way and the Caboolture – Bribie Island Road receives $662.5b
- Approaches and bridges to be constructed on the Haughton River floodplain
- Stage 3 of the Cairns Southern Access Corridor widening project
- Stage 5 of the Townsville Ring Road
- The upgrade of the Mackay Northern Access receives $120.4m
- A new 2 lane highway to be constructed on the Walkerston Bypass to connect Mackay Ring Road and the Peak Downs Highway
A major project which is jointly funded by the Commonwealth is the Rookwood Weir. Construction on this $367.2m project will proceed through 21/22 towards a mid-2023 completion date.
The Cairns Convention Centre is set to receive a refurb and expansion to the tune of $74m. While Townsville Community Learning Centre receives $7m and Proserpine Entertainment Centre $5.7m for works.
Projects in regional areas focus on sewage and water infrastructure. Part of these funds and projects will be delivered through the local councils.
Government Owned Business Projects
In addition to the specific projects to be undertaken by the QLD Government, many of the state-owned businesses will also be making significant project investments in 2021/22. Of note are projects associated with several key ports which will be of interest to many in mining, agriculture and related sectors.
- Ports North is allocating $38.3m to regional ports works. The Cairns Marine Precinct to receive infrastructure investment including completion of the Cairns Shipping Development.
- Capital works will also be undertaken by Gladstone Ports at Bundaberg, Rockhampton and Gladstone. Works will include an upgrade of assets at the RG Tanna Coal Terminal, berths at Auckland Point and services, marina and pilot projects.
- $18.8m has also been allocated by North Qld Bulk Ports for the continuation of planning and development including renewal of the wharf.
- Townsville is also included with funding allocated for the upgrade of the channel capacity to allow access for larger vessels.
- Energy Queensland will be establishing 5 grid-connected battery energy storage systems on a community scale as well as substation and network projects.
- Capital works will also be undertaken by Powerlink Queensland in regard to Kidston Hydro network.
- Seqwater will be implementing a significant capital works program including on the South West Pipeline and at Mt Crosby Treatment Plant.
Capitalising on Budget Outcomes
If the Queensland State Budget presents opportunities for your business, speak with us about equipment finance to expand and upgrade to take on the new work involved.
Contact 1300 000 003 for a quote on your equipment finance requirements.
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