Budget honours transport infrastructure commitments

Transport infrastructure and new bus spending largely escaped the flood repair bill in Queensland’s budget released this week

Budget honours transport infrastructure commitments
Budget honours transport infrastructure commitments

June 15, 2011

Although rail-centric, much of this year’s Queensland budget – released this week – continues infrastructure and bus funding commitments set by former Transport Minister Rachel Nolan in 2010.

Current Transport Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk says some of Australia’s biggest transport projects underway in Queensland would continue.

"The State Government is committed to improving public transport and this funding will help bolster services, ease congestion, help to tackle climate change and deal with our growing population," Palaszczuk says.

"This year's budget will see a further $175 million invested in the Gold Coast Rapid Transit System and $93.7 million to continue construction of the Northern Busway between Enoggera Creek and Kedron."

The Queensland Government will invest $1.8 billion in transport infrastructure from the 2011-12 budget.

The Northern busway receives $93.7 million this year to continue extending the path a further three kilometres from Brisbane’s Royal Women’s Hospital to Kedron, estimated at a total $731.6 million when this section is completed in mid-2012.

A further $28.5 million has been allocated towards the next stage of the busway between Kedron and Bracken Bridge which is yet to commence construction.

The Eastern busway on Brisbane’s south-side continues into 2012 with a further $66.3 million allocated to complete Stage 2A to Main Avenue Coorparoo. The allocation also provides for bus stations at Stones Corner and Langlands Park.

The total spend to complete the Buranda to Coorparoo section is estimated at $465.8 million.

New park ‘n’ ride and bus station facilities across TransLink’s southern Queensland network has also been provided for in this year’s budget.

An extra $25.5 million has been set aside to build or complete projects including the Capalaba Park 'n' Ride, Maroochydore Bus Station, Enoggera Reservoir Park 'n' Ride, Logan Central Bus Station, North Lakes Bus Station and the UQ Lakes Bus Station.

Palaszczuk says a total $44 million would be directed to public transport infrastructure improvements across south-east Queensland.

"The TransLink upgrade program will improve current bus stations and build additional bus station infrastructure," she says.

Rail infrastructure and rolling stock will consume the largest portion of the transport ministry’s 2011-12 budget portfolio.

Brisbane’s passenger train services receive $459.5 million to upgrade rail infrastructure and provide new rolling stock.

The next major item will be continuing construction of the Gold Coast Rapid Transit System with $175 million allocated for 2011.

The total cost of the controversial light rail project is estimated at $1.195 billion.

And the long-awaited construction of the Moreton Bay rail line to Redcliffe peninsular north of Brisbane will see some signs of activity with $12 million pencilled in for early stage work.

But the wait for the rail line’s completion could be longer yet, with funding requirements projected at $1.5 billion, shared by the Queensland and Federal governments and the Moreton Bay Regional Council.

"This budget is about connecting our communities by giving them public transport options to suit their lifestyle," Palaszczuk says.

Leading up to the budget, Queensland Finance Minister Rachel Nolan has also earmarked $72 million towards funding 125 buses to be operated by TransLink in the Brisbane Transport fleet.

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