Brisbane needs new plan

Minister for transport keen to find alternative to Brisbane’s stalled Eastern Busway project

Brisbane needs new plan
Queensland minister for transport Jackie Trad in unsure about the future of Brisbane's Eastern Busway

Queensland minister for transport Jackie Trad has added her weight to the stalled $1.7 billion Eastern Busway project debate.

Trad says that adding bus lanes to Brisbane’s existing main arterial roads may be better and more financially realistic than completing the Eastern Busway, during her speech at a Queensland Media Club event last week.

The Eastern Busway was envisioned as a dedicated 16 kilometre long bus-way stretching out to Brisbane’s eastern suburbs.

The project has now effectively been put on hold, with just one kilometre completed at a huge cost to the state and achieving minimal benefit to commuters at this stage.

There seems to be no way the project could be completed within the limits of the Queensland Government’s budget, without some form of support from the Federal Government – which has not been forthcoming.

"Canberra is retreating from its traditional funding commitments, retreating from its responsibility to improve infrastructure," she says.

"There is not a single infrastructure initiative for Queensland in the Federal Budget – when other nations around the world are investing heavily.

"Despite the challenges, we will provide certainly around our infrastructure plans."

Trad is heading off on a trade mission to the UK, next month and will be looking to gain ideas on how public transport can be improved in Brisbane and what opportunities exist for local businesses abroad.

"As part of this trip I will visit one of London’s leading bus operators Transit Systems," Trad says.

"They are a Queensland-based business that carry 400 million passengers a year and have conquered the London public transport industry.

"I will be asking them what more could government do to help Queensland businesses break into global markets."

She says the establishment of the new Building Queensland organisation means infrastructure projects will now be developed by experts who will recommend projects to the Queensland Government based on sound cost benefit analysis that is not politically motivated and more likely to deliver real benefits.

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