RED TAPE STIFLES RECOVERY
Written on the 21 March 2011
THE state’s major road builders met in Brisbane today to discuss the recovery following the January deluge with many concerned that red tape will stall projects.
Civil Contractors Federation CEO Robert Row, says the challenge will be how to cut red tape to speed up projects, critical for work to begin promptly to benefit regional Queensland.
“The time it takes for work to start on a project can be anywhere from three months to three years and we are saying today that the people of Queensland can’t wait that long,” says Row.
“The members here today are in the business of building and repairing roads and major infrastructure and they are ready to start work now.
“The estimate of the rebuild price tag is about $5.5 billion and about $2.5 billion of that are roads. That means getting started on fixing damaged infrastructure now was vital to the people and businesses in regional Queensland and the State’s reputation.
“A rapid rebuild not only benefits Queensland people but also the Australian economy as millions are being lost every extra day we don’t start and delays could ultimately cost regional jobs.”
Meanwhile, housing affordability and resilient communities have been identified as key challenges facing Queenslanders at a business symposium today in the city.
General manager of Queensland Residential Development Kingsley Andrew says building resilient communities is something Queensland needs to focus on moving forward.
“Whilst a 25 year vision is really important, we need to accept that there’s a range of things we can be doing that will make all the difference, particularly over the next two to five years,” he says.
“Some of the basic things that make a resilient community can be identified in five key points. The first is a place that provides a range of housing options so residents can upgrade or downsize as their families grow and mature.”
Andrew says it doesn’t have to be new housing, but a range of housing that can survive for many years.
“The second key point is building a place that has a strong sense of community, where people can take pride in home ownership and their community – with that, you see a massive reduction in crime,” he says.
“It also needs to be a place where residents are able to access essential services such as public transport, child care and medical services.
“It needs to be a place that provides open space and amenities for all age groups and a space that provides for localized employment.”
He says the other driver of these communities is affordable housing, which he believes remains a challenge in Queensland.
“In reference to restoring confidence, I think the first point is that Australia does build large homes, so we may need to adjust the size of homes, I think we need lot sizes right and we need to make some infrastructure changes over the next two to five years,” he says.