The Australian Industry Group has called for increased funding for regional projects.
The Australian Industry Group has called for increased funding for regional projects. Nev Madsen

Regional economies need government support to grow

A MAJOR infrastructure body has called on the Queensland Government to invest in projects outside Brisbane and help regional economies diversify.

The Australian Industry Group's budget submission calls for regional infrastructure projects to be "prioritised" to increase public support and investor confidence in the areas.

The submission will be released today and says regional economies need government support to grow and diversify.

"It is therefore critical that regional development remains a key element in long-term planning and development given the critical role of the regions in driving state economic growth and the need to ensure their long-term sustainability," it reads.

"Sensible investment in both new and existing infrastructure has a range of benefits including improving the regions' and state's future economic capacity and meeting the needs of our growing population.

"A further priority is the need for greater connectivity between modes of transport across the State, including appropriate road and rail infrastructure linking the major ports and improved connections between airports and land-based transportation to support trade and development in Queensland."

The group is also calling for out-of-state contractors to be considered "local" and able to get the same preferential treatment as Queensland bidders.

"Adopt a more flexible approach on definitions of local content with 'local' referring to businesses operating in Australia (not limited to a single state) and applying this broader definition for invitations to quote or tender for every procurement opportunity offered," it said.

"Local content should include the local assembly of inputs made overseas when that is the most sensible option that delivers value for money for the Government and the best possible outcome for Queenslanders at the least cost."

The government will release its budget on June 12. -NewsRegional