Tuesday 24th Apr, 2018

Queensland angered by Melbourne Airport commitment

Cross River Rail, proposed Exhibition Station. Graphic: Cross River Rail Delivery Authority
Cross River Rail, proposed Exhibition Station. Graphic: Cross River Rail Delivery Authority

Queensland treasurer Jackie Trad says the Coalition’s $5 billion commitment to the Melbourne Airport rail link is “another example of Queensland being ripped off,” as the state continues to appeal for Cross River Rail funding.

Cross River Rail, a rail link under the Brisbane CBD designed to relieve congestion across the network, was rejected for Federal funding last year after it failed to progress to the top of Infrastructure Australia’s priority projects list.

The Palaszczuk Government in Queensland has been pushing on with the project, however, and says it will fund it entirely, if it must – but it would of course prefer to have a contribution from the Commonwealth.

It’s not surprising, then, that this week’s commitment of up to $5 billion from the Turnbull Government towards a 50:50-funded airport rail link in Victoria, was not welcome news for the Queensland Government, given that project has also yet to progress to the top of Infrastructure Australia’s list.

Trad, who championed Cross River Rail while she was transport minister and continues to do so as treasurer, said on Thursday Turnbull’s announcement “stood in stark contrast to the neglect of Queensland’s critical infrastructure by the LNP”.

“This announcement goes to prove that Queensland continues to be dudded by Malcolm Turnbull’s Liberal National Government,” Ms Trad said.

“They’re gifting Victoria with $5 billion for an infrastructure project without a business case, a rail line that doesn’t yet have an alignment.

“There’s still not one single dollar for Cross River Rail, which has a completed, peer-reviewed business case which has been submitted to Infrastructure Australia.

“Queensland has been standing up and fighting for our fair share and what we need is a federal government that is willing to listen to Queensland’s requests for a fair go. That’s all we’re asking for.”

  • Vman

    Is it true that the Commonwealth Government linked this $5 billon proposal to Victoria, with an implied condition that Victoria use the $2 billion asset sale from the Snowy Hydro Scheme? Whereas the ALP Queensland government flatly refuse to sell any assets in return for additional Commonwealth funds.

    And didn’t I read somewhere that Infrastructure Australia recommended the Queensland government do a little more planning work on their Cross River Rail project which the ALP Queensland government refused to do?
    Whereas we assume that the $5 billion for Melbourne airport rail link, would still be conditional on meeting Infrastructure Australia’s criteria.

    Would I be entirely out of line in suggesting that the Palaszczuk Government and Jackie Trad in particular, might get a little further if they collaborated with the Commonwealth Government, rather than fighting with them, every step of the way?

    • John Bevan

      Totally agree, more consultation and planning would work better than political grandstanding!

Send this to friend