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Cross River Rail is missing from the LNP's transport policy, leaving the future of the $5.4 billion project in doubt.
The 14-page LNP policy document, Better Public Transport, criticises Labor's record, and details plans for freezing Queensland Rail bonuses, speeding up training by teaching crew on sectors of the rail network and discounts for seniors.
The LNP would contribute $20 million of state government land for the council's Brisbane Metro and $10 million to explore extensions to the project, pledged to duplicate the Sunshine Coast rail line, progress a Very Fast Train business case and establish an independent commissioner to manage ride-booking services such as Uber.
But Labor's Cross River Rail or an alternative project to create a second river crossing was notably absent from the LNP's policy.
When asked whether voters deserved a clearer sense of the LNP's position on Cross River Rail before heading to the ballot box on November 25, Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls was not forthcoming.
"We've said very clearly that we're happy to invest in (Brisbane LNP lord mayor) Graham Quirk's Brisbane Metro project, $30 million on the table to deliver a project that will get up and get going, that has a proper cost benefit analysis attached to it," Mr Nicholls said.
"In terms of Cross River Rail, we've always indicated that we have concerns about it, these are the concerns that have been raised by Infrastructure Australia."
The proposed Cross River Rail underground route.
Mr Nicholls said before the government spent billions of dollars on Cross River Rail, "this project has to stack up" and called for the release of the full business case.
On Sunday, Labor announced it would progress Brisbane Live and Cross River Rail as a joint project under the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority.
But Mr Nicholls said Brisbane Live or the LNP's vision for the precinct - BEEP - could proceed under a market led proposals project.
"The two can stand on their own two feet," he said.
Brisbane Live would be delivered along with Cross River Rail, Labor has promised ahead of the election.
On ABC Brisbane radio, Mr Nicholls said the LNP was concerned about billions of dollars being spent on Cross River Rail "before it's necessary".
"There are other higher priorities around the place," he said.
"We've always indicated that we've got question marks about it.
"We certainly know that at some stage in the future we're going to need a second crossing of the Brisbane River, whether that's a rail crossing or otherwise, but the question is what are the highest priorities that the government needs to spend its money on."
Deputy Premier and Transport Minister Jackie Trad said the LNP’s public transport plan made it clear they intended to scrap Cross River Rail.
“(Mr Nicholls) won’t even front the media on his public transport policy because he doesn’t want to answer questions about Cross River Rail,” Ms Trad said.
“We know that industry and commuters overwhelmingly support Cross River Rail both for the thousands of local jobs it will create and the way it will transform public transport in south-east Queensland.”
Ms Trad said the LNP’s public transport plan also failed to mention the Gold Coast Light Rail project.
“This isn’t surprising. Tim Nicholls and the LNP didn’t support stage one or stage two of this visionary project,” she said
Former premier Campbell Newman dumped Cross River Rail in favour of the Bus and Train Tunnel in 2013, with the BaT tunnel then scrapped by the Palaszczuk government in 2015, with a return to Cross River Rail.
This article first appeared on www.brisbanetimes.com.au
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