A new infrastructure priority list sets clear, yet ambitious goals for Queensland’s future

Queensland minister for transport Jackie Trad has released her submission to Infrastructure Australia along with a list of the state's top public transport priorities

Major public transport projects topped the Queensland Government’s priority list, as part of its submission on the 2015 Infrastructure Australia (IA) Report recently.

The report, released earlier this year, showed significant investment is required to boost the capacity of public transport networks in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth to meet future demand.

Brisbane’s Cross River Rail project and Bruce Highway upgrades came in at the top of the Queensland Government’s list, while the Gold Coast Light Rail project is also marked as a matter of urgency.

Queensland minister for transport Jackie Trad says Queensland’s list of projects for Federal Government funding met IA’s key goal to prioritise and progress nationally significant infrastructure to boost national productivity and transform cities.

"South East Queensland is home to one in seven Australians and in the next 25 years an additional 2.2 million people will move into the region," she says.

"That’s why it is critical to ensure key infrastructure projects are planned immediately.

"Infrastructure Australia has already recognised Cross River Rail is the number one priority infrastructure project for the nation and it remains so for the Queensland Government."

Representations are still being made to the Federal Government to come to the table with funding to help address the Brisbane CBD capacity constraints identified in the Australian Infrastructure Audit.

High emphasis has been put on Brisbane’s Cross River Rail project, which would allow for a higher frequency of public transport services.

"A second rail river crossing will ease congestion, unlock economic opportunities and make Queensland a more internationally competitive state," Trad says.

The Gold Coast Light Rail project is also high up on the agenda, yet the Queensland Government has indicated it will not be able to deliver stage two without Federal Government support.

"The major roadblock to funding stage two of the Gold Coast Light Rail project has been a lack of support from the Federal Government, but it is a vitally important project to improve connectivity between Brisbane and the Gold Coast," Trad says.

"The infrastructure projects in Queensland’s IA submission include major public transport and road projects through the state that will underpin our economic growth and jobs into the future."

The Queensland Government is committed to calling for infrastructure funding, Trad says, to deliver projects that will create a lasting and beneficial legacy for the people of Queensland.

"The Palaszczuk Government’s first budget delivered a $10.1 billion building program to support 27,500 jobs and our government building program is the second highest in the nation.

"We are getting on with the job of delivering Queensland’s first state infrastructure plan in three years to ensure there is certainty for industry and our state does not miss out on the vital infrastructure projects the community needs."

Vital public transport infrastructure funding has taken a back seat at a national level, Trad says, and she is hopeful change will occur from the top down.

"Under Mr Abbott’s leadership, Canberra retreated from its traditional funding responsibilities in infrastructure and not a single new infrastructure project was announced for Queensland in the last federal budget.

"We remain hopeful that the new Turnbull Government will take a different approach to investing in critical public transport infrastructure projects – which were ignored by the former Prime Minister."

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