Greens call old parties to match $2b for Cross River Rail

THE Greens today announced $2 billion over four years for Cross River Rail to boost public transport services across South East Queensland and are calling on the old parties to match their commitment.

Qld Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens Deputy Leader, said it was time for the old parties to make election announcements on Cross River Rail that provided dedicated funding.

"The old parties have not committed to specific funding for Cross River Rail and, even if they do fund it, both plan to privatise this critical asset, inevitably increasing fares and making services worse.

"Cross River Rail is an urgent priority for Brisbane, with our single river crossing reaching capacity, it will allow expanded, more regular and more reliable services over the entire rail network across South East Queensland.

"We Greens believe Cross River Rail is key to delivering world-class public transport for South East Queensland and that it should be kept in public hands to ensure lower fares and better services.

"We're calling on the old parties to catch up to the Greens by announcing dedicated funding for Cross River Rail and committing to keeping it in public hands.

"All of our policies are fully costed and are part of a balanced alternative budget which shows that Australia could afford to stand up for what matters if other political parties had the courage and vision to do so," Senator Waters said.

Greens Second Senate Candidate, Andrew Bartlett, said past examples had shown the privatisation of public transport resulted in higher fares.

"We already have some of the world's most expensive fares in Brisbane, and privatisation would drive them up further so that fewer people would use public transport, which makes no sense.

"By properly funding publicly owned public transport, we can create new jobs, boost productivity, tackle global warming and reduce congestion, saving people time and money," Mr Bartlett said.

Cross River Rail received the most funding in the Greens' national public transport plan announced today.

The Greens' full clean transport plan will:

  • Establish an annual $250 million Active Transport Fund for cycling and walking infrastructure
  • Commit an additional $500 million to shift freight onto rail through new rail freight lines
  • Commit to $300 million in additional funding for the Black Spot road safety program

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