Aug 1, 2010

Only Labor can be trusted to build the Moreton Bay Rail Link

Only Labor can be trusted to build the Moreton Bay Rail Link

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

August 1 2010

Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese has declared the election of Tony Abbott as Prime Minister the only remaining threat to the long awaited, often promised rail line to the Redcliffe Peninsula.

Following last’s week announcement that a re-elected Gillard Labor Government would partner with the State Government and the Moreton Bay Regional Council to build the Moreton Bay Rail Link, Anthony Albanese today met with and thanked the members of the local community who had championed the project over many years.

“The commitment given by the Prime Minister is a tribute to the community’s persistent campaign for better public transport as well as the strong representations from Yvette D’ath and Fiona McNamara,” Anthony Albanese said.

“When it comes to building infrastructure, Federal Labor means what it says and does what it promises.

“Not only are we honouring all our 2007 commitments, we’ve gone so much further in the three years since. This includes becoming the first ever Federal Government to invest significantly in new and expanded urban passenger rail infrastructure in our cities.

“Federal Labor’s credentials when it comes to the Moreton Bay Rail Link are confirmed by events happening south of Brisbane.

“Today the residents of the Gold Coast are witnessing the start of construction on their new light rail network, a project only made possible because of our financial support.

“Indeed the model which is now delivering that long talked about project is the same one we will now use to make the Moreton Bay Rail Link a reality – namely a partnership between all three levels of government.”

The Moreton Bay Rail Link will run 12.6 kilometres connecting Petrie Station to Kippa-Ring, with preliminary construction work starting in 2012 and the entire project to be completed by 2016.

All up, the Gillard Labor Government is already investing $4.5 billion to modernise and extend the urban passenger rail infrastructure in Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and the Gold Coast, with all of these projects currently on budget and on schedule.

“While the Gillard Labor Government has a record of unprecedented investment in infrastructure, Tony Abbott as a senior member of the former Coalition Government refused to spend even one dollar on public transport infrastructure,” Anthony Albanese said.

In a newsletter to his constituents Mr Abbott even declared all ‘transport infrastructure is a state responsibility’ and the provision of Federal funding for such projects to be as silly as ‘…the State Government hav[ing] to buy new tanks for the army.’

“The Liberal candidate for Petrie must have been agreeing with Tony Abbott when he told ABC radio on the morning of our announcement that ‘now is not the time’ to spend the money building this rail line,” Anthony Albanese said.

“Only the Gillard Labor Government has a plan to move our cities forward, one which recognises the task of renewing and expanding their public transport infrastructure requires a partnership between all the levels of government.”