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THE Palaszczuk Government has defended its choice to build a problematic new Cross River Rail Station at Boggo Road, saying the New Dutton station would have inconvenienced too many people.
It comes in response to the Courier-Mail revelation that secret documents show the government ignored expert advice and proceeded with a flawed new Cross River Rail station in Jackie Trad’s electorate in a bungle that could cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.
The series of leaked briefing notes and confidential papers have exposed how bidders for the $5.4 billion project, along with its delivery authority and technical team, all warned the proposed Boggo Road station was littered with engineering and safety problems.
However, the Government forged ahead anyway with its plan to build at Boggo Road and redevelop the old Dutton Park Station, rejecting a proposal for a single station on land behind Princess Alexandria Hospital that was cheaper and safer.
But the Minister responsible for Cross River Rail, Kate Jones, told parliament on Tuesday she could confirm the government did examine the New Dutton station but decided against it and went for the “superior option”.
She said people on the Cleveland line would have had to change stations, walking 9 minutes to connect to the Cross River Rail, under the New Dutton plan.
“For example, Bayside and eastern suburbs residents on the Cleveland line would have been significantly disadvantaged by the New Dutton station rather than the Boggo Road station,” she said.
That was not a “suitable solution” for those residents, she said.
She said the Boggo Road interchange gave Cleveland and Gold Coast commuters a direct link to the CRR.
She said the engineers were now confident a design solution could be finalised.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey said separating the Cleveland and Gold Coast lines would have “forced commuters travelling between those lines who currently have an easy transfer option to walk 9 minutes”.
“It would have been a disincentive to use the train at all,” he said.
“Queensland Rail has confirmed all technical aspects have been resolved.”
This article first appeared on www.couriermail.com.au
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