Queensland has recently submitted a list of projects for Infrastructure Australia’s Priority List which was last updated in late 2013.
Jackie Trade is the Infrastructure, local government and planning minister and she outlined 12 projects, including five which were carried over from the 2013 list, five new projects, and two initiatives which were listed as ’in development’.
The projects being carried over with updates from 2013 are:
- The Cross River Rail
- The Nambour to Beerburrum Rail Upgrade
- The Mount Isa to Townsville Rail Corridor Upgrade (this includes the Eastern Access Corridor in Townsville).
The new projects submitted for consideration in 2015 are:
- The Inland Rail/ Southern Rail Corridor
- Stage 2 of the Gold Coast Light Rail line
Ms Trad said that Infrastructure Australia has recognised the Cross River Rail as the top priority Infrastructure project for Australia, and it will remain the number one priority for the Queensland Government.
The 2013 priority report listed the Cross River Rail as ‘ready to proceed’ and is estimated to cost around $4.45 billion.
“We call on the federal government to come to the table with funding for this project so it can be delivered to address Brisbane CBD’s capacity constraints which were identified in the Australian Infrastructure Audit”, Ms Trad said.
Another rail river crossing will unlock economic opportunities, ease congestion, and make Queensland more internationally competitive.
The Gold Coast Light Rail opened in 2014, and an extension to the rail is one of the major projects Queensland is proposing IA adds to its 2015 priority list. The major roadblock has been a lack of funding and support from the federal government, however, it’s vitally important that the connectivity between the Gold Coast and Brisbane is improved.
The first Budget for the Palaszczuk Government produced a $10.1 billion building program supporting 27,500 jobs and the government building is the second highest in Australia.
Compared to Abbott’s government, when Canberra retreated from its usual infrastructure funding responsibilities and Queensland didn’t see a single new infrastructure project announced in the last federal budget.
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