Federal Labor’s enduring commitment to public transport investment will be underlined today with the long-awaited opening of the Redcliffe Peninsula Line in Brisbane’s north.
The 12.6km passenger rail extension will connect Redcliffe and surrounding areas to Brisbane’s suburban rail network for the first time and will provide a convenient travelling option for thousands of commuters.
This is a historic day given that this rail line was first promised in the 19th century.
Today should be a particularly proud day for Wayne Swan and Yvette D’Ath who fought hard to turn this long awaited vision into a reality.
The former Federal Labor Government joined with the Bligh Labor Government to fund the project in 2010 to reduce traffic congestion and lift productivity.
At that time the Liberal Party opposed the project, with its candidate for Petrie, Dean Teasdale, telling ABC radio: “now is not the time’’.
And in its 2014 Budget, the Federal Coalition Government cut its funding for the Redcliffe Peninsula Line by $159 million, leading to delays in its completion.
Despite failing to support the link, Malcolm Turnbull and Liberal MPs will be on hand today to seek credit for the project they opposed.
Rather than rewriting history they should look ahead and restore Federal funding for Brisbane’s Cross River Rail Link, which they also scrapped in their 2014 Budget.
Cross River Rail is urgently needed to provide a second railway crossing over the Brisbane River in the Brisbane CBD before the existing Merivale Bridge reaches full capacity within the next few years.
Failure to act will risk future economic growth in Queensland.
It is time for Mr Turnbull to stop using public transport for photo opportunities and to actually invest in major public transport infrastructure.
Mr Turnbull should act today and restore funding to Cross River Rail.