Infrastructure spending to move from mining to SEQ: report

"THE mining boom is gone and is not coming back."

That's the opinion of an economist tasked with investigating the present and future of Queensland's infrastructure spending.

Speaking at the launch of the Queensland Major Contractors Association's Major Projects Report, BIS Shrapnel economist Adrian Hart said infrastructure spending was set to move from central Queensland to the south-east.

Mr Hart referenced Kerry Packer's famous quip after he sold Channel Nine to tycoon Alan Bond for $1 billion, buying it back three years later for a quarter of the price, to describe Queensland's mining boom.

"You couldn't see any bigger cycle than what we've seen in Queensland over the past five years," he said.

"It reminds me of Kerry Packer saying, 'There's only one Alan Bond you'll ever see in your life'. Well, that's probably the boom that we're going to see in our lives. Because really, it was just so crazy and so large. I'll be very surprised if we see the likes of that again."

Mr Hart said the end of the boom meant projects were moving away from central Queensland.

In the report, the percentage of Queensland's workforce working on major projects is predicted to fall in the central Queensland area from about 40% in 2013-14 and 2014-15 to zero in the 2016-17 financial year.

Mr Hart said major projects investment was set to move away from the mining sector and into tourism and transport.

He said despite a slowdown, China still represented a major market for Queensland in the tourism, agriculture and education sectors.

Also speaking at the launch, Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said the government would launch a five-year infrastructure plan in "coming days".

Ms Trad said the plan would allow developers to know what projects were coming, and would provide a more open process. - ARM NEWSDESK



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