The Palaszczuk Government has announced plans to establish an authority to deliver Cross River Rail, the number one priority infrastructure project for Queensland.
Acting Premier Jackie Trad and Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe announced the Palaszczuk Government was continuing to drive the delivery of Cross River Rail and build the inner-city rail link from Dutton Park to Bowen Hills.
At both a State and Federal level, Cross River Rail has been identified as a critical infrastructure project required to address capacity constraints in our rail network and avoid increased congestion and reduced productivity in the South East Queensland economy.
“Cross River Rail is not only a critical infrastructure project but also a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape Brisbane through this major city-making initiative,” Ms Trad said.
Queensland Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the updated business case based on the new alignment would be completed in mid-2016.
“The new 10.2 kilometre alignment announced today, including 5.9 kilometres of tunnel, is built on planning from previous projects and will unlock network capacity to meet forecast passenger demand and accommodate future growth,” Mr Hinchliffe.
The Cross River Rail project is expected to provide 1,600 jobs each year during construction and, with an anticipated construction timeframe of five years, the project could generate more than 8,000 jobs.
Mr Hinchliffe said support from both sides of politics for Cross River Rail was a welcome relief for Queenslanders.
“It means both sides of politics at a federal level back the project and hopefully bipartisanship and positivity will extend to state politics as well,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“The business case is being finalised by Building Queensland by mid-year and I want to see that work done as soon as possible, so all parties can make prompt funding decisions.
The new delivery authority will lead the development, procurement and delivery of Cross River Rail and support wider economic and social outcomes for the transformational project.
The authority will seek federal, state and local government co-investment and private sector participation as funding, financing and delivery partners.
The Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and the Department of Transport and Main Roads are co-sponsoring investigations to finalise the preferred delivery model and specialist advisers from KPMG and Clayton Utz have been engaged.
A full range of options are being canvassed including using a dedicated government office, establishing a Statutory Authority or a Government Owned Company (enabled by Corporations Act). These options will be presented to government for consideration shortly.
The Cross River Rail project team will engage with the community later this year.