Subjects: Cross River Rail, public transport investment
ALBANESE: Today the Commonwealth Government announced $10 million to add to the $50 million the Queensland Government have already put in their budget to establish a committee to oversee the Cross River Rail Project.
This is a minuscule contribution, given the Coalition ripped $715 milliom from the project, which had been funded in the 2013 Budget following an agreement between the Commonwealth and Queensland Government. This followed Infrastructure Australia’s approval of the project in 2012.
Had the Abbott and Newman Governments not stopped the project it would be well under construction now. This is an essential project to provide Brisbane with a second rail crossing over the river, which will boost capacity through South East Queensland.
The Commonwealth Government’s ongoing provocation and delay is hurting future productivity in this global city. The Federal Government does not have to fund the project with new money, they simply need to reverse their own cuts.
REPORTER: Doesn’t this show a commitment from Prime Minister Turnbull?
ALBANESE: Well Malcolm Turnbull likes to ride on trains, he just hasn’t funded the construction of new lines. He and other Coalition members were pushing each other out of way to participate on the first journey of the Redcliffe Peninsula Line, that was funded by former Federal and Queensland Labor Governments, along with the Moreton Bay Regional Council. Given the $3 billion underspend on infrastructure, based on the Federal Governments own projections for 2015-16, this $10 million announcement is pathetic.
Leader of the Australian Labor Party, MP for Grayndler, Rabbitohs Life Member. Authorised by Anthony Albanese, ALP, Canberra.