Gillard must continue public transport investment: Nolan

Queensland transport minister urges new prime minister to continue public transport; blames reform for Kevin Rudd’s demise

By Brad Gardner | June 24, 2010

Queensland Transport Minister Rachel Nolan has urged new Prime Minister Julia Gillard to continue investment in public transport.

Speaking following the demise of Kevin Rudd in today’s leadership spill, Nolan told a CEDA forum federal funding of public transport in Queensland must continue.

Nolan congratulated Rudd on financially committing to projects such as the Gold Coast rapid transit system.

"I would hope not to see any change from Gillard in relation to that," Nolan says of public transport funding.

Following her address to the forum, Nolan likened Rudd’s reform agenda as the cause of him losing the leadership of the federal Labor Party.

"Events in Canberra overnight show us reform can be really tough," she says.

Rudd was fighting to gain support for the Government’s proposed resource super profits tax.

Under the plan, the Federal Government will fund 40 percent of resource projects and impose a 40 percent tax on miners once they hit a profit threshold.

Gillard announced today she will pull the taxpayer-funded ad campaigns in favour of the tax if the mining industry ends its advertising blitz against reforms.

However, Nolan says Gillard seems "pretty committed" to introducing the tax.

During her speech, Nolan defended the Queensland Government’s decision to privatise assets such as Queensland Rail and Queensland Motorways.

Calling it a "once in a generation economic reform", Nolan says critics of have not mounted any serious arguments against privatising assets.

The Queensland Government’s decision to privatise the port, Queensland Motorways, the Abbot Point coal terminal and above and below rail assets has been heavily criticised by the Opposition and unions.

Queensland Motorways operate the Logan and Port of Brisbane motorways, the Gateway Bridge and its duplication project.

State assets are due to be auctioned over the next three to five years.

The Queensland Council of Unions (QCU) claims privatisation will put transport workers’ jobs at risk

"Public services are operated primarily in the interests of the people of Queensland rather than in the interests of shareholders returns," the QCU wrote in a statement.

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