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Julia Gillard to announce the fast tracking of the $1.15 billion Petrie to Kippa-Ring railway.
This line has been promised for about 30 years by various State & Federal Governments.
From the Courier Mail.
JULIA Gillard will today give the green light to one of southeast Queensland's major infrastructure missing links - the $1.15 billion Redcliffe rail connection.
In the first significant election pledge targeting the must-win state, the Prime Minister will pledge to deliver the 12.6km Petrie to Kippa-Ring rail line by 2016.
The long-awaited project would ease congestion in one of the nation's fastest-growing and most car-dependant regions. And it has the advantage of boosting Labor's electoral stocks in three key marginal seats.
Ms Gillard, who is in Brisbane today, will say construction on the rail link will begin in two years. A re-elected Labor Government would provide $742 million, with extra funding to come from the Bligh Government and Moreton Bay Regional Council.
The crucial piece of track would cut 15 minutes off travel time between the city and Redcliffe Peninsula at peak times.
Ms Gillard said the rail link would ease gridlock for about 84,000 people and each express train trip would take 600 cars off the road.
"The project is about making sure the growth of the Moreton Bay corridor is sustainable with high-quality public transport that cuts congestion, travel times and carbon dioxide emissions,'' Ms Gillard told The Courier-Mail.
The link would connect the Redcliffe Peninsula to the existing Petrie station and include six new stations at Kallangur, Murrumba Downs, Mango Hill (North Lakes), Kinsellas Road, Rothwell and Kippa-Ring.
One of Ms Gillard's key election themes has centred around sustainable population growth and improving living standards in outer metropolitan areas through improved infrastructure.
Labor's election pledge also would boost the party's election hopes in the vital state of Queensland because the
project directly affects voters in the marginal ALP-held seat of Petrie and the Liberal National Party electorate of Dickson.
It also would reduce traffic congestion on the Bruce Highway in places such as Caboolture and Bribie Island, which fall within the marginal Labor-held seat of Longman.
The rapid population growth on Brisbane's outskirts is putting a drain on services including transport.
More than half of the people who live in the Moreton Bay Regional Council area leave the region for work each day and almost nine out of 10 travel by car.
A re-elected Gillard Government would dedicate $742 million to the project from 2014-15 in new money from Nation Building Program 2, while the State Government would spend $300 million and provide the land, which it already owns.
The rail link is being built in a corridor that has been preserved for years, which means there would only be very few resumptions if necessary.
The State Government dropped plans to build the link six years ago after a study suggested it would be unviable.
During the state election campaign in March last year, it ridiculed an Opposition promise to construct the railway. But in June last year, The Courier-Mail reported that the Bligh Government and council were pushing to get the project "shovel ready'' so it could be considered for federal funds.
The Translink transit authority also spent more than $1.5 million on a study which suggested the line would be so popular that services would have to run express from Petrie into the city.
Locals have been pushing for the rail link project for decades.
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