THE Palaszczuk Government has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack seeking increased and fast-tracked funding for projects across the state as part of an agreement on Inland Rail.
Canberra is being urged to increase funding by $857m and bring forward $650m worth of existing commitments on key Queensland projects, including Warrego Highway upgrades, the Bruce Highway, the Townsville to Roma inland road corridor and other regional roads funded under the Federal Government‘s Roads of Strategic Importance funding program.
Queensland’s offer to Canberra on Inland Rail comes with a caveat that any bilateral agreement needs to address the concerns about the project that have been raised by those living and working on the proposed rail corridor.
Transport and main roads minister Mark Bailey said there were other projects across Queensland that could also benefit from the Inland Rail deal.
“We have plenty of transport infrastructure needs in Queensland that need better support from the Morrison Government,” he said.
“Roads maintenance supports local jobs, and we think federal funding for maintenance on the national network could be doubled to $180m per annum.
“Scott Morrison promised billions of dollars for Queensland before the election, but much of that funding won’t flow for a number of years.
“We’re having collaborative discussions with the Federal Government on Inland Rail, and we want to make sure other rail and road projects in Queensland are not neglected.”
Mr Bailey said issues relating to the future rail connection to the Port of Brisbane and the Salisbury to Beaudesert future rail corridor also needed resolution along the Kagaru to Acacia Ridge section.
“Any increase in the number of freight trains passing through the Kagaru to Acacia Ridge section needs to be complemented by a passenger rail line from Salisbury to Beaudesert,” Mr Bailey said.