Queensland Shadow Minister for Transport Scott Emerson
LNP’s Answer To Looming Inner-City Rail Crisis
Victor P Taffa
The LNP’s Building Queensland’s Future Together discussion paper proposes a commonsense solution to Brisbane’s looming inner-city rail crisis. Crunch time is now, to avoid a capacity crisis in 2016.
Shadow Transport Minister Scott Emerson said while the inept Labor government was running away from the crisis, the LNP’s (Liberal National Party) infrastructure paper outlined a plan to upgrade the South Brisbane and Southbank railway stations to provide extra platform capacity and more operational flexibility.
“This would provide up to an extra five years capacity over the Merivale Bridge and give us valuable time to put longer-term solutions in place.” Mr. Emerson said.
Mr. Emerson welcomed the support of RAIL Back On Track spokesman Robert Dow who said:
“Cross River Rail will take some time so it is pleasing to note some effort has been made to propose steps to maximise the utility of existing infrastructure with incremental improvements. We have long suggested such steps will be necessary.”
Mr. Emerson said despite the crisis point of 2016 being warned about for at least six years, and Premier Bligh declaring a solution was “desperately needed” Labor’s Cross River Rail project remained unfunded.
“It would not be built in time to meet the capacity constraint deadline.” Mr. Emerson said.
“The LNP recognises that this public transport problem is rapidly approaching and taking no action is not an option.”
Mr. Emerson said Labor’s failure to redress Brisbane’s rail crisis was just one part of a larger $150 Billion unfunded infrastructure deficit around the State, on top of Labor’s $85 Billion debt.
“The Bligh Government’s Environmental Impact Study (EIS) released this week no longer has any references to the inner city rail capacity crisis deadline.”
“In a piece of political trickery Labor has even scrubbed all mention of 2016.”
“We must deal with the crisis before we look at longer-term solutions to increase capacity and that will include the current Cross River Rail proposal.”
“A CanDo LNP Government will plan for the future not live for the moment. Campbell Newman is an engineer, one thing he really knows how to do is build infrastructure.” Mr. Emerson said.