Federal Member for Forde, Bert van Manen MP is bewildered the State Government continues to fail in its obligation to provide appropriate funding and project detail for the M1 upgrade, continually stalling the project.
“The Federal Coalition Government has already said it is willing to provide $10 million towards the business case for the M1 upgrade,” Mr van Manen said.
“While the Queensland State Government offered up $4 million, the $6 million shortfall leaves our hands tied.
“In line with previous funding arrangements for the M1, the Federal Government is required to provide 50 per cent of the funding.
“By playing politics with this issue the State Government is essentially robbing Logan of millions of dollars.
“In the last six months, the State Government has spent an extra $52 million per year on employing executive or higher public servants, so they can’t complain about the fact they don’t have any money.
Mr van Manen said $6 million should not be difficult to find considering the Federal Government’s recent commitment of $95 million towards the second stage of the Gold Coast light rail.
“It’s about time they seriously consider their priorities,” Mr van Manen said.
“While projects like the Bruce Highway and Toowoomba Range Crossing have had 80/20 funding splits, they are major freight corridors and the M1 highway is a commuter road and urban congestion is a State Government responsibility.
“The bottom line is, the State Government obviously has the money to employ more public servants, so $6 million should not be difficult.”
However, Mr van Manen said regardless of the funding split, the State Government were yet to provide the Federal Government with any detail on the project – essentially asking for a cheque without a plan.
“If the State Government believes the funding agreement should change, they need to submit a business case that reflects such a proposal,” Mr van Manen said.
“The primary purpose of this upgrade is to decrease urban congestion for commuters and the State Government should meet its obligations to the people of Logan and the Gold Coast.
“The proposed $4 million from the State Government will only cover a business case for three kilometres from Eight Mile Plains to Rochedale, neglecting already congested stretches through Shailer Park, Tanah Merah and Loganholme.
“At a total cost of $20million for the business case, the State Government cannot continue to ignore this vital piece of infrastructure.
“The money they are spending on executive public servants could be spent on building the infrastructure we need to grow our communities and local economy.”