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See also CPDS Comments
Cost effective infrastructure is a key requirement for regional success in a changing global market. The nature of infrastructure is also changing - to include: skills and training; telecommunications; networks to support innovation and technology as well as conventional power, water, roads. Also the way in which infrastructure is built and operated is changing - with a greater private sector role in financing and delivery.
Planning infrastructure effectively is now critical - and harder than ever. This plan is being produced to fulfil a government election commitment.
Infrastructure is an enabler of other activities. The plan's objectives are:
Identifying economic activities for which infrastructure support is warranted is difficult - except where firm investment proposals have been announced. Furthermore infrastructure can also be a catalyst for investment.
Planners can't determine which industries and enterprises will succeed - but must use limited resources to reinforce competitive strengths of regions which will allow enterprises to be established and grow.
Infrastructure is provided both by government and the private sector - and coordinated delivery is hard where infrastructure is market driven.
The plan needs to anticipate likely economic activities in the regions - based on existing economies and how they will change. It also needs to define the role of new infrastructure in realising a region's development opportunities. Thus analysis of economic opportunities and their relation to infrastructure is critical.
The outlook for the global economy in the next few decades suggests an environment characterised by:
Thus broad strategic directions for Queensland infrastructure are
These will need to be addressed by future action.
The State Infrastructure Plan has two components - Strategic Directions 2001 and annual implementation plans. The former sets the framework for the latter. It was based on an examination of the fundamentals of the state's regions - and validated by consultation with stakeholders. Analysis started from a state-wide perspective (and included consideration of 7 infrastructure sectors, namely: innovation and technology; telecommunications; skills, training and education; water; energy; transport; and strategic land). This was the context for regional analyses - which provided important insights into the role of new technologies, innovation, telecommunications, education and training will have.
Strategic Directions 2001 was based on a long term perspective - and will be revised every 5 years. Annual implementation plans will be released in parallel with the state budget - and include both state-wide issues and Regional Infrastructure Strategies. Regional Infrastructure Strategies will set out a program of investigations and committed projects - as a rolling five year program.
By way of background it is noted that Queensland's machinery for planning infrastructure does not appear to be effective (see Problems in Infrastructure Planning and Delivery in Queensland).
Regarding Strategic Directions 2001, it appears that:
January 2002 (and subsequently modified)