Sunday, May 8, 2016

Cross River Rail - Federal Election Pawn?

Welcome to Backwardsville!
As BrizCommuter readers will be well aware of, Brisbane's Cross River Rail has had many problems getting off the ground, mainly due to lack of funding from both sides of federal and state government, as well as successive state governments using its design as a political football.

Both Sydney and Melbourne Metro projects appear to be full steam ahead, receiving federal funding from the LNP Turnbull federal government in return for selling state assets, which is apparently something that gets liberals excited.

In Queensland, successive ALP and LNP government's have been booted out of office, with asset sale policies being a possible major cause of the voter discontent. However, this is somewhat debatable as both governments were incompetent and destructive respectively, and thus pissed off rather a lot of voters anyway.

Whilst there was no funding in the 2016 federal budget for Cross River Rail Mk3, the fact that the business case has not been completed may have been a major factor rather than silly politics. However this business case may be ready in time for the federal election on June 2nd. ALP opposition leader Bill Shorten has already promised to provide funding for Cross River Rail. So it be interesting to see if LNP prime minister Malcolm Turnbull will match this promise without forcing the ALP state government into selling assets*. There are also quite a few marginal seats in Queensland. With 55 days of the election campaign to go, there will be lots of time for Cross River Rail to become a political pawn - let the games begin!

* Though please privatise Brisbane Transport (Brisbane City Council's bus operator), and remove them from the incompetent control of Brisbane City Council.

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