THE Queensland Government last week announced it will deliver one of Queensland's biggest ever infrastructure projects, Cross River Rail, with $2.8 billion allocated over the forward estimates of the 2017-18 State Budget and a further $2.6 billion to be committed in future budgets.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said her government will build Queensland's number one infrastructure priority Cross River Rail, which involves a 10.2-kilometre link from Dutton Park to Bowen Hills, with 5.9 kilometres of tunnel under the Brisbane River and CBD.
The project will deliver four new underground stations at Boggo Road, Woolloongabba, Albert Street and Roma Street, and two upgraded stations at Dutton Park and the Exhibition Showgrounds.
Cross River Rail will connect to both northern and southern rail networks from day one of operations, which is expected to ease congestion, improve network reliability and increase accessibility to the Brisbane CBD.
"It has been almost a decade since Cross River Rail was first put on the agenda and I'm proud that I will be the Premier to build this project. The importance of Cross River Rail for the future of South East Queensland is unquestionable - industry experts and the community agree that we need this project and we need it now," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"That is why my government is fully funding the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project. However, we are not shutting the door on other sources of funding – the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority will continue to look at options to partner with the private sector and we expect to secure funds from future Australian Governments.
"The bottom line is my government will start construction on Cross River Rail this year – it will support more than 1,540 jobs each year and with a construction timeframe of five years, that's more than 7,700 jobs for Queenslanders."
Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure Jackie Trad said that Queensland needs Cross River Rail, which she described as a transformational project for South East Queensland.
"Without it, we won't be able to build the future vital connections to our growing regions, including the Sunshine Coast, Flagstone and Springfield lines because we simply won't have the capacity across our one inner city river crossing, the Merivale Rail Bridge," Ms Trad said.
Since 2015, the Queensland Government has re-scoped the project, published the new alignment, submitted the industry peer-reviewed business case to the Commonwealth and secured the necessary major state approvals from the Co-ordinator General.