A report in today’s Courier-Mail that Prime Minister Scott Morrison plans to make a series of infrastructure announcements in South East Queensland in coming days, including funding for improved Park and Ride facilities at train stations, smacks of desperation.
Indeed, given the LNP has now been in power in Canberra for almost six years, anything that Mr Morrison announces this week will simply be too little too late.
For one thing, it was Bill Shorten, who almost 12 months ago, announced that the next Federal Labor Government will establish a $300 million National Park and Ride Fund to increase the availability of parking at train stations and encourage greater use of public transport.
In recent months we have committed funding to projects at Geebung, Northgate, Mango Hill and Narangba train stations on Brisbane’s Northside.
Mr Morrison’s decision to follow our positive agenda is further evidence that Federal Labor is leading from Opposition, while the tired and divided LNP Government is too mired in chaos to develop its own policies.
Improved parking facilities at train stations will reduce the need for commuters to park on nearby roads. By making it easier to travel by train, these investments will help reduce traffic congestion.
While Mr Morrison’s politics of imitation are welcome, if he was truly serious about reducing traffic congestion and improving public transport services across South East Queensland, he should also match Federal Labor’s commitment to partner with the Queensland Government to deliver Cross River Rail.
This important project, which will provide a second rail crossing of the Brisbane River in the City’s CBD, will be a game-changer, increasing the capacity of the rail network right across South East Queensland.
In 2012 the independent Infrastructure Australia declared Cross River Rail the nation’s top infrastructure priority and ready to go. But in the following year the incoming the LNP Government scrapped the funding allocated to it by the former Federal Labor Government.
After almost six years of LNP neglect, traffic congestion in South East Queensland, and around the nation, has worsened.
It will take a Shorten Labor Government to deliver the investment required to get the nation moving again.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.