The state government has released new renderings and animations of the long awaited Cross River Rail project as well as announcing an in-principle commitment of $800 million towards building Queensland’s number one infrastructure project.
Meanwhile details of a ‘public transport levy’ are being drawn up by the Queensland Government to help fund the $5.4 billion underground project.
The move comes as the Brisbane City Council last week unveiled a rates increase to help fund it’s Brisbane Metro Subway System. Council have vowed to fully finance the Brisbane Metro if no funds are released by state or federal governments.
Building Queensland, the state’s independent infrastructure adviser, declared Cross River Rail ready for state investment in its Infrastructure Priority Pipeline Report.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said this was the biggest funding commitment to Cross River Rail by any government in its history, and part of the Government’s $40 billion four-year infrastructure program announced in the 2016-17 State Budget.
“This builds on our recent commitment of $50 million in the 2016-17 State Budget to establish the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority and commence early work, and $634 million funding to deliver the critical European Train Control System which will pave the way for the project,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure Jackie Trad said ensuring such a significant project continued to move forward would require support from all three levels of government and partnerships with the private sector.
“We expect the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project will transform from a single piece of transport infrastructure into one of Australia’s largest innovation and economic development initiatives – driving new development and population growth, better access to jobs and schools, and higher property values.
“The economic case is clear that for every dollar we invest in Cross River Rail, our economy will see a return of $1.21. Supporting this project should be a no-brainer decision for the Federal Government, Brisbane City Council, and private partners.
“If we look to projects like London’s £15 billion CrossRail project, we can see that partnerships between the public and private sector can work, with innovative funding solutions like availability payments, development rights and value sharing on the table.
“One of the key tasks of our new Delivery Authority will be to explore innovative funding models for Cross River Rail so that this project can finally be delivered.”
Treasurer Curtis Pitt said this in-principle commitment of $800 million fits with the priorities of the 2016-17 Budget: Growing innovation, attracting investment and building infrastructure.
“The Palaszczuk Government’s contribution to this project will come from the State Infrastructure Fund which received an allocation of $2 billion in the Budget I handed down on 14 June,” said Mr Pitt.
“Delivery of Cross River Rail will require support from all levels of government, as well as third-party finance and close examinations of value-sharing options.
“Our commitment is contingent on funding contributions from the Commonwealth Government and clearly this is exactly the type of project Queenslanders expect them to back.
“Malcolm Turnbull will shortly have the business case, which is also being sent to Infrastructure Australia, so he has everything he needs to back this project.”
Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Building Queensland’s Business Case highlighted the economic benefit to the nation of building Cross River Rail.
“Cross River Rail is not just a project for commuters north and south of Brisbane – it will benefit every commuter in the south east corner from Gympie North to the Gold Coast,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“Building Queensland predicts Cross River Rail will also boost public transport use across the region by 29,000 trips per day in 2036, which will ease congestion taking 18,500 cars off the road a day.
“In ten years’ time if we don’t build Cross River Rail passengers in South East Queensland will have to wait a combined total of 11,000 hours per day for a train which will cost the economy more than $240 million per year due to road congestion alone.
“Cross River Rail will support more than 1,540 jobs each year during construction and, with an anticipated construction timeframe of five years, the project could generate more than 7,700 jobs for Queenslanders.
“When Cross River Rail is operational it will continue to generate and support approximately 570 jobs each year.”
Cross River Rail snapshot:
- Support an additional 65,000 jobs within new CRR station precincts
- Support an additional 12,000 residents and more than 40,000 jobs in the high-growth southern CBD, through the Albert Street station
- Increase the proportion of the population in metropolitan Brisbane living within 30 minutes of employment from 15.2 per cent in 2015 to 20 per cent in 2026.
- Increase peak period rail capacity into the CBD from 86 to ultimately 134 trains per hour, a 56 per cent improvement
- Reduces the number of people travelling to the CBD by car by 18,500 per day in 2036.
- Reduces total wait time for train passengers by 11,000 hours per day in 2036
- Increases the mode share of public transport in the region from 6.8 per cent currently to 10.4 per cent in 2036.
- Avoids costs to the economy of $240 million annually in 2036 from road congestion.
For more information visit the website www.crossriverrail.qld.gov.au.