Monday 21st Jan, 2019

Queensland angered by Melbourne Airport commitment

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.”

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