Toowoomba to Brisbane fast rail study yet to start
THE business case for a passenger rail service between Toowoomba and Brisbane is yet to commence, despite funds being announced for the study in the Federal Budget last year.
Groom MP John McVeigh said he laid the blame for the delay on the Queensland Government.
"I continue my efforts to hurry up the work on the Toowoomba to Brisbane passenger rain business case that we announced in last year's budget," Dr McVeigh said.
"It's gone a lot slower than I would have liked, as the Federal Government needs the cooperation of the state to complete that study.
"We're in the process of trying to hurry up the State Government to allow us to have the details they have at hand to complete that business case."
The Federal Government announced it would contribute $15 million to the development of the study in last year's budget.
Queensland Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the business case was linked to Inland Rail plans, which the State Government had yet to sign on to.
"Dr McVeigh knows as well as I do that any business case for a passenger rail service to Toowoomba is wrapped up with the Federal Coalition's Inland Rail plan," Mr Bailey said.
"There are still farmers and people living near the proposed rail corridor in Queensland who continue to have concerns about the loss of agricultural land, floodplain issues, and the project's noise and environmental impacts.
"The Federal Coalition must properly consider and appropriately respond to those issues before Queensland signs up to the project."
Mr Bailey questioned the funding for the business case.
"The first $5 million of the $15 million the Federal Government has committed only becomes available in 2019-20," he said.
"That commitment has been made on a 50/50 funding split basis, while we believe it should be on the 80/20 basis applied to nationally significant projects."