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Queensland uses pension fund to finance infrastructure and pay debt

Australia's Queensland government will use AU$4 billion ($2.9 billion) from a public sector pension scheme to invest in infrastructure in the state and pay off debt. 15 Jun 2016

State Treasurer Curtis Pitt announced the move as part of what he called a "back to work" budget for 2016 that aims to increase investment and build infrastructure.

The pension scheme is $10bn in surplus, and Pitt said that that move will not affect pension payments.

The budget includes $10.6bn to be spent on capital works, of which $4.6bn will be spent in regional Queensland. This is part of a four-year $40 billion investment in infrastructure which includes capital expenditure, capital grants and public-private partnerships, the budget statement said.

Road spending will total $4.4bn, including a $50 million "down payment" for Brisbane's Cross River Rail proposal to help with planning and environmental approvals. $2.2bn will be directed to energy and water, $1.4bn to health and $645 million to education in the state, the statement said.

An accelerated works programme is planned to bring forward construction and capital works projects in areas "experiencing subdued economic conditions", Pitt said.

The state will also spend $19.7 million over three years on a 'roadmap and action plan' for the biotechnology sector.

Recent Infrastructure Experience