Budget 2017: What's in it for Queensland?
QUEENSLAND won't see a cent of Commonwealth money towards its Cross River Rail project until at least 2019, in a snub that will infuriate the State Government.
Choosing to adopt the $8.4 billion Brisbane to Melbourne inland rail project as its core infrastructure commitment, the Federal Government has left the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail to fight other states for funding from a new $10 billion National Rail Program.
But the money is far from a certainty, with Treasurer Scott Morrison saying only that projects such as Cross River Rail and Brisbane Metro had "the potential to be supported through this program, subject to a proven business case".
"It is important to invest in infrastructure, but we have to make the right choices on projects, as part of a broader economic growth strategy," he said.
"Our new Infrastructure and Projects Financing Agency will help us make those right choices, recruiting people with commercial experience to ensure we use taxpayers' money wisely."
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had wanted at least $850 million for work to begin this year on the second river crossing between Dutton Park and Bowen Hills, which the Government considers its highest priority project.
But the first payments from the National Rail Program aren't due to be made until 2019-20, meaning Queensland has no hope of receive Commonwealth cash until at least then.
It will now fall to Treasurer Curtis Pitt to decide whether Queensland can make up the shortfall in its June Budget.
Under a different fund, the Queensland Government has been invited to bid for a $20 million cash grab to partly fund three business cases for high-speed rail projects between cities and large regional centres.
To be paid out in 2017-18, the money will be available to state governments and private companies.
The news comes as the Federal Government supports public transport in other states, with Victoria scoring $500 million for regional rail and $30 million towards its Melbourne Airport Rail Link business case and the Perth Metronet receiving $792 million.
The Bruce Highway will get $844 million for upgrades, including Pine Rivers to Caloundra and the Deception Bay interchange, $45 million will upgrade the Walkerston Bypass and there's a further $6 million for the Mt Lindsay Highway upgrade.
Regional Queensland will benefit from grants of up to $10 million over four years under a new $272 million Regional Growth Fund.
The cash will be made available to "major transformational projects" that support long-term economic growth and create jobs in cities battling through difficult times.
And $200 million will go towards supporting the construction of community infrastructure in regional areas under the Building Better Regions Fund.
North Queensland will be promoted as a holiday mecca both domestically and internationally under a $5 million push to help the state's tourism industry recover from Cyclone Debbie.
Meanwhile, the storm will leave a long-lasting legacy for future Budgets.
The extent of the damage inflicted as Debbie cut through Queensland and NSW has still not yet been quantified, but Budget papers say it will be significant.
It means Queensland can expect much more than the $1.34 billion in payments under Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements currently budgeted for.
Australia's Commonwealth Games athletes will get a shot in the arm with $15.5 million to support their preparation for the Gold Coast event next year.
The University of the Sunshine Coast will get a concessional loan to build its new Moreton Bay campus in what's expected to be the first move towards a South East Queensland City Deal.
A deal for Townsville was announced in December that includes funding like $150 million for a Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor.
But no progress has been made on promised plans to build a series of dams across the north, including Hells Gate on the Burdekin River near Townsville and one west of Mackay.
They are still in the feasibility stage of development.
The White Paper on Northern development put water infrastructure as a priority for agricultural development as the federal Government talked up the region as a potential foodbowl for the burgeoning Asian middle class.