Malcolm Turnbull must heed the clear message from the Queensland election result and end his irrational refusal to invest in Brisbane’s much needed Cross River Rail project.
During the Queensland election campaign the Liberal-National Party rejected Cross River Rail, which would provide a second rail crossing of the Brisbane River in the city’s CBD and boost productivity right across south-east Queensland, including on the Gold and Sunshine coasts.
Mr Turnbull has also refused to invest in the project, despite it having been endorsed by the independent Infrastructure Australia in 2012.
The LNP’s flogging at the hands of voters on Saturday, particularly in Queensland’s south-east, sounds a clear message to Mr Turnbull that Queenslanders understand the importance of infrastructure investment to economic and employment growth.
Mr Turnbull should listen.
The former Federal Labor Government and Queensland’s former Newman LNP Government reached a deal to deliver Cross River Rail in 2013, only to see the project scrapped months later by the incoming Abbott Federal Government.
Since Mr Turnbull ousted Tony Abbott, he has expressed rhetorical support for public transport projects.
But he has maintained the Coalition’s refusal to invest in Cross River Rail, leaving the Palaszczuk Government to go it alone on this important project.
Mr Turnbull should also lift his game more generally with regard to infrastructure delivery, with Budget documents showing his Government has not only cut infrastructure investment, but also failed to deliver its reduced budgets.
In its first three Budgets, the Coalition invested $3.9 billion less on infrastructure across the nation than it promised.
This included a cut of $700 million in Queensland.
MONDAY, 27 NOVEMBER, 2017