Passenger Rail, Safety, Standards & Regulation

Labor promises $73m to remove SEQ crossing

Federal Labor wants all three levels of government to provide $73 million to remove one of South East Queensland’s worst level crossings, but Brisbane’s Lord Mayor is unwilling to fund more than 15 per cent of the costs.

Visiting Coopers Plains south of Brisbane on Tuesday, shadow transport minister Anthony Albanese said a road overpass over the rail line at Boundary Road would significantly boost productivity, while improving road safety for locals.

Cars have hit boom gates at the level crossing 28 times in the past seven years. 1,000 cars and trucks pass through the crossing every hour.

Joined by federal member for Moreton Graham Perrett at the crossing, Albanese said if successful in the forthcoming federal election, Labor would provide a third of the funds, and would hope the state and the local government would match that funding.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, however, has said his government would pitch in just 15 per cent of the project costs.

“We want a partnership between the three levels of government with $73 million from each level in order to fix this level crossing,” Albanese said. “It’s time for the three levels of government to join forces to fix this black spot once and for all.”

Perrett referred the media to a pair of road-rail grade separations in Brisbane’s north, at Bracken Ridge and Geebung, which had been jointly funded (50/50) by the state and the council.

“I am saying as someone from the Southside, I need [Quirk’s] Southside councillors to speak up,” Perrett said. “What’s wrong with the Southside? On the Northside they put in 50 per cent for two grade separations … We are not even asking for 50 per cent; we are prepared to do a deal and [have the council] give us a third.”

A spokesperson for Quirk, quoted by Fairfax, reiterated Brisbane City Council was not interested in  increasing its share of the funding.

“There are no plans to increase this funding,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

“Traditionally rail replacements have always been a 15 per cent contribution from council and there are no plans to increase this funding for a stat government infrastructure project. The only exceptions to this agreement were due to existing council road projects that linked in with existing crossing projects.”