Former Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has confirmed that Brisbane’s Cross River Rail Project was ready to go in 2013 before it was scrapped by the incoming Federal Coalition Government.
Mr Newman’s revelation, made on Sky News, demonstrates the absurdity of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s ongoing claim that he cannot invest in Cross River Rail because it has no business case.
On Sky News on Monday night I was interviewed by Mr Newman, who was a guest host on the Beattie and Reith program.
During the interview I put it to Mr Newman that the independent Infrastructure Australia approved the Cross River Rail business case in 2012, when he was Queensland Premier.
Mr Newman agreed.
I further put it to Mr Newman that in 2013, on the basis of that business case, his Government and the former Federal Labor Government sealed a deal, with each pledging $715 million to deliver the project as a public-private partnership.
But despite all the work having been done, the incoming Federal Coalition Government scrapped the project a few months later.
ALBANESE: We were ready to go.
NEWMAN: Well, we were actually.
Since becoming Prime Minister, Mr Turnbull has refused to fund Cross River Rail on the basis that it has no business case.
But as Mr Newman has agreed, the business case was approved by Infrastructure Australia in 2012, and classified as “ready to proceed’’.
Mr Turnbull’s demand refusal to invest in the project is absurd.
The Prime Minister likes taking selfies riding on trains, trams and buses. But he refuses to provide new investment for trains, trams or buses.
It is time he stopped stalling and worked with current Queensland Government to deliver Cross River Rail.