Brisbane’s Lord Mayor took aim at the state government over a lack of long-term, new infrastructure plans for the south-east corner of the state.
Councillor Adrian Schrinner said that ahead of next month’s state budget, he would like to see new ideas for infrastructure beyond the Cross River Rail project.
“We’ve seen Cross River Rail under construction, which is a great thing – we support that – but one project does not make a plan,” Cr Schrinner said.
“We need a long-term plan that will deliver for the growing population of Brisbane and south-east Queensland.”
Brisbane City Council has released new data illustrating total capital purchases and grants by region, and revealing a lower spend in Brisbane’s suburbs compared to elsewhere in the state.
Minister for State Development Steven Miles said the state government was investing roughly the same amount in Brisbane as it was in the regions.
He also accused the Brisbane City Council of “manipulating” data.
“It’s not, it’s a project for the entire region.”
But Cr Schrinner said the data was collated by an independent economist, and state funding for new infrastructure was not keeping pace with population growth in Brisbane.
“Almost 25 years ago, the state government did release an infrastructure plan, or regional transport plan, that identified projects such as the north and eastern busways,” he said.
“Those projects have since disappeared off the state’s agenda and we need them for our growing population.”
Concern over open level crossings
Cr Schrinner said the Brisbane City Council was particularly concerned about how road users would be affected by open level rail crossings.
“When Cross River Rail is open, we will see more trains on the network,” Cr Schrinner said.
“That’s a great thing, but it means the open level crossings will have the boom gates down for longer.
“If we have a train every six minutes — as they predict with Cross River Rail – the boom gates will be down every six minutes [and] there will be massive congestion right across the network at those open level crossings.
“We need a long-term plan to deal with open level crossings, and we need those addressed as part of that long-term plan.”
Cr Schrinner said the council would contribute $40 million in funding for every open level crossing that was diverted.
There are 40 open level crossings in Brisbane.