State ‘holding $3b infrastructure in limbo’
MORE than $2.7 billion worth of Queensland road and rail projects that are fully federally funded are being held up by the State Government delaying signing off, funding or demanding more cash.
Another $4 billion is on the line with Queensland being the only state yet to sign a bilateral agreement to proceed with the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail.
Federal Liberal National MPs have accused the state of deliberately playing politics and holding back on the job-creating and congestion busting projects due to the upcoming election.
State Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey has dismissed them as "desperate claims", accusing the LNP of doing "too little, too late" on infrastructure.
Projects impacted by the state standoff include the $780 million Beerburrum to Nambour rail upgrade, the Gold Coast light rail stage 3a, the $350 million Mackay Ring Road stage 2 and the $100 million M1 intersection upgrades to Exits 41 and 49.
Member for Petrie Luke Howarth said the Federal Government committed $120 million to the Bruce Highway/Dohles Road on-off ramp upgrade in April last year, but it still waiting on $30 million from the State.
"They are too focused on the Cross River Rail and are ignoring small infrastructure projects that would make a huge difference to local families," he said.
Member for Dickson Peter Dutton said the State Government had to "stop playing games on George Street and start putting the needs of everyday Queenslanders first".
Member for Fairfax Ted O'Brien said the Beerburrum rail was state-owned and operated, making the federal contribution almost unprecedented.
"It's beyond a joke that State Labor is prepared to put $5.4 billion to fund 100 per cent of Cross River Rail in Brisbane but they are not prepared to fund 50 per cent for vital and game-changing upgrades on the Sunshine Coast," he said.
Mr Bailey said defended the Palaszczuk Government's infrastructure record, saying it was spending a record $21.7 billion over four years.
"Many of the projects they claim to have committed funding for are too little, too late promises - we haven't seen any dollars for them from Canberra," he said.
"It's a fact the federal government year in, year out has ripped off Queensland, with no funding for Cross River Rail, half-hearted offers for the M1 compared to NSW and a $230 million shortfall for the Sunshine Coast Rail Duplication."
He said Queensland would not sign the Inland Rail agreement until the plan had dealt with the concerns of farming communities around the impacts of its proposed corridor.