Expert panel to review Cross River Rail

Published Wednesday, 16 May, 2012 at 07:12 AM

Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Scott Emerson

The Newman Government has today announced an expert panel will review the Cross River Rail project to ensure the next major investment in rail is affordable and meets the future needs of South-East Queensland.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said he wanted to deliver a realistic solution after seven years of Labor inaction on a rail capacity crisis.

“The former Labor Government had known about the capacity of the Merivale Bridge since 2005 and delivered nothing in seven years, except glossy brochures and broken promises,” Mr Emerson said.

“Before the election Labor had an $8 billion proposal they couldn’t afford.

“Three weeks out from the election then Transport Minister and current opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was a $7 billion proposal they couldn’t afford and finally just two weeks out from the election Labor had a $6.4 billion proposal they couldn’t afford.

“While a solution to the city’s rail network constraints must be found, an LNP Government will be absolutely sure the numbers stack up before committing to a multi-billion dollar project.”

The expert panel will consist of:

·Mike Scanlan, Specialist Rail Advisor with more than 35 years in rail transport

·Scott Lennon, Partner of PWC Economics and Policy Group

·Barry Broe, Co-ordinator General

The panel will deliver a report on 13 June 2012 that will properly analyse and confirm the problems facing the rail system, consider the options available, assess the business case already prepared for the project and provide recommendations for consideration by the Newman Government.

“This project has already cost $40 million, half of that contributed by the Federal Government to develop a business case and determine feasibility,” he said.

“I have requested this panel be brought together to ensure we come up with a solution that we can actually pay for and deliver.

“We will be a passenger-focused government improving frequency, reliability and affordability to ensure more people use public transport, and this review is our first step towards solving a major congestion problem.

“The Newman Government is committed to delivering its election commitments and paying down Labor’s $85 billion debt legacy.”

[ENDS] 16 May 2012

Media Contact: Andrew Berkman 0429 128 637