The Turnbull Government risks damaging the Queensland economy with its continuing refusal to invest in the much-needed Cross River Rail project in Brisbane.
The claim by Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher in today’s edition of The Courier-Mail that the project requires more planning is a pathetic stalling tactic from a Government that will not match its rhetoric on public transport with actual investment.
Cross River Rail was declared ready to go by the independent experts at Infrastructure Australia in 2012.
That is why the former Labor Government allocated funding in its 2013 Budget, only to see Mr Fletcher and incoming Coalition Government scrap the investment in their 2014 Budget in line with their bizarre distaste for public transport.
The existing rail crossing over the Brisbane River in the CBD, the Merivale Bridge, is approaching full capacity.
We need to start the Cross River Rail project now, before the Merivale bottleneck saps economic growth in Brisbane, with knock-on effects for economic and jobs growth right across Queensland.
Malcolm Turnbull enjoys taking selfies on trains. It is time he invested in trains.
Instead, the Coalition has done nothing on Cross River Rail for more than three years, even as long suffering commuters have been grappling with worsening traffic congestion.
The planning has been done. It’s time to start work.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.