The establishment of a dedicated Authority and the announcement of the preferred alignment for the Cross River Rail project are important steps being undertaken by the Queensland Government to end the chopping and changing that has delayed this critical public transport project, said the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF).
TTF has been a vocal and long-time advocate of the need to build the Cross River Rail link to significantly increase rail capacity through the Brisbane CBD.
“Creating a dedicated Cross River Rail Authority to take charge of this project and work with local, State and Federal Governments to secure the funding needed to build the project, is a great step forward to making it a reality,” said Margy Osmond, TTF CEO.
“Cross River Rail is the number one public transport project for Brisbane and reflects the general consensus that we are seeing in Australian cities towards the expansion of inner city rail capacity.
“The Queensland Government has been doing a lot of work developing a dedicated Tourism and Transport Strategy which is a fantastic initiative, for which TTF has been a strong advocate. Cross River Rail fits perfectly into this wider plan to improve the visitor experience in Queensland.
“The key to making sure that this project stops being a political football is to secure bipartisan support right across the board – we need Governments and Oppositions at all levels to agree that this project is too important for the economic future of Brisbane and South East Queensland to be delayed any further.
“We are seeing similar CBD rail links being developed in Sydney and Melbourne. it makes sense that Brisbane also expands its inner city rail capacity in a similar fashion to keep up with the surge in population and jobs growth we are seeing in the inner suburbs of our major cities.
“A major hurdle for this project continues to be securing the funding to build it. The Federal Government has a moral obligation to partner with the Queensland Government to help build this project.
“However, the Queensland Government also needs to continue to look at opportunities to leverage its finances and existing assets to build new economic infrastructure such as Cross River Rail.
“The private sector has a significant role to play in delivering this project and opportunities to utilise value capture as a funding mechanism should be fully explored.”