Cross River Rail, road upgrades should get green light: infrastructure panel
The Queensland Government’s expert infrastructure panel has recommended it move ahead with more than $6.5 billion in projects.
- Four projects identified as “ready for investment consideration”
- Projects are Cross River Rail in Brisbane, new train control system for Brisbane, upgrades to Cunningham Highway and extra lanes for Pacific Motorway
- Report also identified five projects where a business case should be developed
The State Government set aside $1.5 billion for infrastructure in this month’s budget and has been waiting on Building Queensland to tell it what to spend it on.
The Government today released Building Queensland’s Infrastructure Pipeline Report, which identified four projects “ready for government investment consideration”.
The projects are Cross River Rail in Brisbane, a new train control system for Brisbane’s inner-city, upgrades to the Cunningham Highway at Yamanto, west of Brisbane, and extra lanes for the Pacific Motorway between Mudgeeraba and Varsity Lakes on the Gold Coast.
Building Queensland’s board was set up by Labor to provide the State Government with independent advice on where to target infrastructure funding.
The report identified five projects where a business case should be developed, including a duplication of part of the Sunshine Coast rail line and an upgrade to Queensland Health’s IT system.
Some projects already part funded
More than $17.5 million was set aside for the European Train Control System (ETCS) in the budget, with the total cost to be around $630 million.
The State Government also committed just $50 million to the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail in the budget.
That money would set up a body to advise the Government on how to fund and build it.
The State Government has used the report to call on the Coalition to put money on the table for Cross River Rail.
A look at the Queensland Government’s vision for the Brisbane Cross River Rail project. Unveiled April 7, 2016. (Supplied: Queensland Government)
On the back of the report’s release today, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the State Government would now put $800 million on the table for the Cross River Rail, but it was contingent on the Federal Government coming to the party.
“We need to work with the Federal Government in relation to this matter, just as we worked with Malcolm Turnbull when it came to stage two of the Gold Coast light rail,” she said.
“Malcolm Turnbull says he has a passion for public transport, now I want to see that passion put into action.”
Ms Palaszczuk said the private sector would pick up any funding shortfall.
“There are countries that are looking very closely at this project who speak to me, speak to the Deputy Premier, and the Treasurer — when we are overseas — in the boardrooms saying ‘we want to invest in transport in Australia, what do you have for us, what do you have for us to invest in?'”
Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said federal Labor was offering $800 million for Cross River Rail.
“We need the Federal Government to likewise commit to Cross River Rail to get the project done,” Mr Bailey said.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has committed money to the extra lanes for the Pacific Motorway, but Mr Bailey said the 50-50 funding split was unfair.
“The Palaszczuk Government wants to see the Federal Government treat the M1 on the Gold Coast just like it does across the border in new South Wales,” Mr Bailey said.
A map showing where the line (green line) and stations for the Brisbane Cross River Rail would go. April 7, 2016. (Supplied: Queensland Government)