Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads Scott Emerson
Cross River Rail Must Not See GST Rip-Off
Victor P Taffa
The Newman Government won’t accept anything less than a genuine 50-50 funding split for Brisbane’s Cross River Rail from the Federal Government.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said it was essential that the Federal Government not rip GST funding off Queensland to pay for their share of the rail project.
“The Federal Government is trying to con Queenslanders by claiming it will pay for half the project, but then stealing back its share by cutting the State’s GST payments.” Mr. Emerson said.
“The Commonwealth would usually be expected to pay the lion’s share for this type of nation-building project, but the Newman Government is willing to accept a genuine 50-50 split.”
“What we can’t afford to accept is Canberra paying just 25 % of the cost of Cross River Rail by slashing Queensland’s GST payment to claw back half its contribution.”
“It amounts to Canberra giving with one hand but taking with the other.” Mr. Emerson said.
“Given how important this project is for Queensland, I’m happy to meet the Federal Government halfway. However I need a genuine partnership not an attempt to con Queenslanders.”
“We can’t afford that kind of cost as we fight to reduce the debt left by the former Labor government.”
A Liberal National Party review into the Cross River Rail project showed the former Queensland Labor government’s version was gold-plated, overpriced and therefore not affordable.
An expert panel released a report in June last year that showed the core of the original project would deliver the same capacity for $4.45 Billion almost half the cost of Labor’s plan.
“We will also continue to lobby the Federal Coalition to gain its support for the project should it form Government at the next Federal election.” Mr. Emerson said.