M2 or M1.10 – Solve the $400m Productivity Problem

Monday 6 November, 2017 | By: James Flaherty

Each year the M1 costs businesses in South-East Queensland $400m in lost productivity and CCIQ is pleased to see that policies are being developed to solve the South-East’s major bottleneck.

CCIQ General Manager Advocacy, Kate Whittle, said the M1 roadblocks need to be removed and commitments need to be made to cutting travel times and making sure the infrastructure is fit for purpose. “The M1 is the infrastructure elephant in the room as the major arterial linking over 2 million Queenslanders struggles to cope on weekdays, public holidays and at the weekend. It has long been a pain point for small business owners and commuters.

“Over recent years we have seen pie in the sky proposals, bickering between all levels of government and a policy traffic jam worse than we see on the road itself. We just need something to be done and the problem to be alleviated.

“With public transport unable to meet the needs of consumers and the region growing significantly, more and more cars will be travelling on the M1.”

This weekend both parties in the lead up to the election announced their plans for the M1. The State Government has committed $247 million to expanding from 4-6 lanes between Varsity Lakes and Tugun, a 10km stretch.

“We agree that the Varsity Lakes-Tugun stretch of the M1 needs work and this plan will help traffic flow in a notorious bottle neck, but the catch with this announcement is works would not begin until at the earliest 2020.”

The Opposition announced, after a survey conducted earlier this year, they would commit to building the ‘M2’ to parallel the M1 between Nerang and Stapylton. They have split the costs, committing $500 million to build the 4-lane road, signaling the remainder to come from Federal funding. However, reports have surfaced that the cost would be closer to $2.4 billion, raising questions regarding the business case.

“CCIQ analysis has already highlighted the M2 would only shave 10 minutes off the overall trip for commuters, however it will present a viable alternative when there is an accident resulting in gridlock.”

“The reality is roads move people in Queensland, and we need the best transport infrastructure to ensure Queensland is able to grow through increased connectivity and productivity.

No matter the election result, neither party is in a position to fix the problem prior to the Commonwealth Games in April 2018.

CCIQ calls on both parties to provide transparent and rigorous cost-benefit analyses and business cases for their proposals to ensure government funding is spent efficiently and effectively.

Under CCIQ’s election platform “Better Business Framework” we are calling for increased Infrastructure investment and are seeking commitments from both parties:

  • Restore infrastructure spending to 4.25% of Gross State Product.
  • Get Queensland’s fair share of Federal infrastructure funding.
  • Build the vital water infrastructure necessary in Northern Queensland.
  • Invest in transport infrastructure to ease congestion in South-East Queensland.
  • Improve processes to encourage Market-led proposals and secure Private Public Partnership funding.
  • Ensure transparent and rigorous cost-benefit analyses and business cases are developed during planning processes

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