Qld rail projects miss out in Federal Budget: RACQ

RACQ has expressed disappointment the Beerburrum to Nambour rail upgrade and a level crossing upgrade program missed out on additional funding in last night’s Federal Budget.

The Club’s Head of Public Policy Rebecca Michael said Queensland would receive a 20 percent share of $155 million in spending for the National Rail Program, but said particular congestion-busting rail projects should have been specifically called out and funded.

“We’re disappointed we didn’t see any more cash for the Beerburrum to Nambour rail upgrade, as only Stage One of the project is funded,” Dr Michael said.

“A funding gap exists for delivery of Stage Two and there still isn’t a time frame for when this might start.

“The rail line upgrade is critical in improving public transport options on the Sunshine Coast and importantly it will also take freight trucks off the road, reducing congestion on the Bruce Highway.

“We also would’ve liked to have seen a commitment to fund additional rail level crossing upgrades.”

Dr Michael said the Club welcomed $50 million for the Beams Road level crossing upgrade, but ultimately a dedicated level crossing upgrade program was needed across the South-East.

“With three levels of Government involved in the management of level crossings, upgrades always attract disputes around funding responsibilities,” she said.

“Given that these level crossings are notorious congestion choke points, we would’ve liked to have seen the Federal Government step up and introduce a targeted program for upgrades.

“While we are seeing a record spend for transport now, we want to make sure, in future years when spending is wound back, these key projects aren’t forgotten.”

More information on how Queensland fared in the Federal Budget could be found here.