Bundy's transport needs neglected

MEMBER for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey has slammed the hypocrisy of the government after it provided $8.2 billion for rail infrastructure in Brisbane, but left Bundaberg in locomotive limbo.

The Cross River Rail project will include a tunnel running under the Brisbane CBD from Fairfield to Bowen Hills, carrying up to 30,000 people an hour, and includes four underground train stations at a cost of more than $100 million each.

But Mr Dempsey said it was unfair and short-sighted that billions of dollars could be spent on Brisbane's inner-city public transport, when there was no serious consideration given to expanding regional Queensland's freight options.

“They promised at the 2006 election that we would have a $1.5 million feasibility study into the port rail link (at Bundaberg),” Mr Dempsey said.

“After time and time again of asking, they admitted they'd spent three-quarters of a million dollars on a report saying that a rail link to the port is not needed right now. But that doesn't open it up for future needs.”

Mr Dempsey criticised the report as a waste of money as it did not include community or business consultation which, he said, should have been key components.

He said a proper analysis of Bundaberg's transport options was needed to ensure its industries did not get left behind.

“It defies logic that we are the next major port outside of a capital city, yet they are applying a band-aid fix.

“It shows (the government) takes regional centres for granted — the potential for the Wide Bay area is quite significant, but for them, regional Queensland means Caboolture and Ipswich. There is no forward thinking.”

He said Bundaberg industry would flounder without funding to provide new transport infrastructure.

“About 250 trucks leave Bundaberg for Brisbane every day, so there is a demand for better services. We need proper funding to keep our industry in line.”

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