M1 Taskforce takes funding fight to the Feds
The fight for Queensland’s fair share of funding to upgrade the M1 will come to a head today when the M1 Taskforce meets with the Federal Government.
Main Roads and Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey, Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate, RACQ’s Paul Turner and CCIQ Director of Advocacy Nick Behrens fly to Sydney to meet with Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher.
Minister Bailey said it had been nearly eight weeks since the delegation which also includes Logan Mayor Luke Smith and Queensland Trucking Association’s Gary Mahon first requested the meeting, and the Turnbull Government had put it off for too long.
“The Turnbull Government can’t buck pass and ignore us any longer, the time has finally come to give Queensland its fair share,” Mr Bailey said.
“Funding the M1 is a critical issue to Queensland and Minister Fletcher needs to explain why we’re getting short-changed.
“The same road just across the border in New South Wales gets an 80:20 funding split and we’re only being offered 50:50.
“The M1 is not a country road, like the Sydney-based Minister has implied and because of this he’s ripping off Queenslanders.”
Mr Bailey said the M1 was the highest trafficked road in Queensland and is a highway of national significance and he would go armed with the Federal Government’s own documents to prove this.
“The M1 is part of the Federal Government's National Land Transport Network which attracts an 80:20 federal/state funding split,” he said.
“Prime Minister Turnbull and Minister Fletcher are ignoring their own funding formula and criteria.
“There is a map confirming this which is readily available on Minister Fletcher’s own departmental web site.”
Logan Mayor Luke Smith said Logan City Council is behind the State’s push for an 80:20 funding split for the M1 upgrade and will continue to advocate for what is right.
“The bottleneck on the M1 here in Logan is the largest contributor to congestion and is hurting our local businesses, the Federal Government needs to give Queensland the same fair treatment as it has in other states and agree to the 80:20 funding,” Mr Smith said.
CCIQ’s Nick Behrens said if the current funding impasse can’t be resolved, then the delays experienced as a result of the M1 will continue to cost us hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
“If the Sunshine State wants to have a thriving economy that delivers prosperity to all communities then the Federal Government must place additional money on the table and put in place a level of support that surpasses their own political convenience,” Mr Behrens said.
“It would be a terrible shame for Queensland if politics continues to play a too bigger role in the infrastructure decision making framework particularly in respect to the M1.
“For these reasons CCIQ is delighted to be flying to Sydney to provide support to the State Government in securing Queensland’s fair share of Commonwealth support.”
Paul Turner from RACQ, added: “The Australian Government has done the right thing for Queensland with 80 per cent contributions to the Bruce and Warrego Highway upgrades and the Toowoomba bypass, now we need to see this positive and accepted approach extended to the Pacific Motorway in Logan and on the Gold Coast.”
Mr Bailey also said he would tell Sydney-based Minister Fletcher that the Queensland Government would not be selling our assets like ports and power to pay for their funding shortfall.
“The Federal Minister is obviously out of touch with Queensland if he’s proudly advocating for Campbell Newman’s policies which were rejected so emphatically by voters eighteen months ago,” he said.
“Queensland does not deserve to be held hostage and made to sell our assets by Canberra to fund basic infrastructure which NSW already gets.”