Delay in delivering rail tunnel project to this region has cost jobs

  • Labor ripped $10million off Toowoomba Range Capacity & Clearance Upgrade Project
  • Labor’s delay in getting this project underway has cost jobs and jeopardised the future growth of our agricultural industry
  • Labor’s three-year delay is a total disgrace to deliver this project

Labor has now ripped out $10 million from the Toowoomba Range Capacity & Clearance upgrade project announced last week by the State Transport Minister despite clear assurances to deliver this project and indeed, a $58million commitment in the 2015/16 state budget.

In response to the State Transport Minister’s $48million project announcement last week. I ask Minister Bailey to explain why the Labor Government has failed the people of this region by delaying this project and why are they not delivering on their promised $58million 2015/16 budget commitment.

How anyone can congratulate this Labor Government for ripping off our rail infrastructure by $10m is beyond me. I believe the Minister owes this community an explanation and an apology for their failure to progress this project on time and explanation as to why we are being short changed by this Government.

These delays have cost construction jobs through the lack of investment in productive transport infrastructure for our region.

It is expected that the first tunnels will be lowered necessitating a major track closure in April 2018 and whilst I am relieved to see this significant project move forward I am disappointed with the Labor Government’s failure to deliver this much needed project to this area when it was first announced in the 2015/16 state budget.

Key limitations of the current infrastructure urgently need to be addressed to facilitate an increase in general and agricultural freight and accommodate the new international shipping standard 9ft6in (Hi-cube) containers. This project is not about convenience for exporters, but a matter of necessity in hi-cube utilization.

I look forward to seeing this project completed to facilitate and position rail as a logistics solution to meet the current and future needs of our agricultural industry.