Qld, federal govt cut cash splash deal

Canberra will pour $1.3 billion into 20 Queensland projects, such as the Gold Coast light rail.
Canberra will pour $1.3 billion into 20 Queensland projects, such as the Gold Coast light rail.

Just last week Queensland's political leader tagged Prime Minister Scott Morrison as the biggest threat to the state's economy.

On Wednesday, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk stood alongside him to announce a $1.9 billion infrastructure deal cut between their two governments.

"Well, I'm starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel," she quipped, when asked about the remark.

"As I've always said, we always work best when we work together and this is a clear signal that we can sit down, we can work through things, in the best interests of the people of this great state.

"What this money means ... it means we can get on with the job of making sure that we have the key infrastructure we need right across Queensland."

The federal government's spending spree will pour money into at least 20 Queensland projects that both leaders hope will make roads safer and get people home faster.

"This is part of a broader program of works that we've been bringing together as a Commonwealth since the last election, over the last six months," Mr Morrison said from the edge of the M1.

"This is no cash splash, that's what we've seen previously.

"What we've seen at the moment is a careful investment in the Queensland economy, and the national economy."

Earlier this year, Mr Morrison put a call on states and territories to identify ways to bring forward infrastructure projects.

In Queensland, these include an upgrade of the Pacific and Bruce Motorways, and extending the light rail project on the Gold Coast.

The deal will mean the federal government will inject double the state government's $600 million investment into these projects.

Regional Queensland will also get some of the cash-splash, with projects earmarked for Rockhampton, Mackay, Cairns and the Cape York Peninsula.

Queensland's peak motoring body, the RACQ, has applauded the end of the stalemate.

"We have long called for these projects to begin construction and it was frustrating for all the drivers stuck in gridlock to know their solution was being held up by government debate leading to funding shortfalls," RACQ Head of Public Policy Rebecca Michael said.

Australian Associated Press