The funding of Brisbane’s proposed cross-river rail project is still uncertain despite announcements by the Federal Treasurer and Transport Minister.

Anthony Albanese says Labor’s contribution was exactly what the Minister asked for, but his Queensland counterpart disputes that.

Mitchell Dunk reports.


The Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan was in Brisbane to talk up a major infrastructure project announced in this week’s budget.

The Federal Government has offered to contribute $715 million to joint-fund the cross-river rail project.

But the Queensland Transport Minister Scott Emerson was noticeably absent from today’s announcement.

Anthony Albanese, Federal Transport Minister: “This week, instead of attending this joint press conference to announce formally this exciting project, what we have is the Queensland Government playing politics.”

But Mr Emerson says he knew nothing about it.

Scott Emerson, Qld Transport Minister: “I was never part of anything today. I don’t know why Albanese or Wayne Swan are making these claims. I’m not aware of anything.”

The cross-river rail is one of several Queensland infrastructure projects to be allocated funding in Wayne Swan’s budget.

Just days ago the Queensland government said it wouldn’t agree to the joint venture under the suggested Federal funding model.

The Federal Minister says the funding had been agreed to.

Anthony Albanese, Federal Transport Minister: “Everything was agreed. The project to be delivered through an availability payment. The figures of 715 million from each government respectively.”

Scott Emerson is sticking to his demand that the two governments pay half each for the project, but he says a large part of the federal offer includes tax concessions, rather than actual new funds.

Scott Emerson, Qld Transport Minister: “Because the Labor Government won’t exempt the whole project from GST payments, they’ll only be paying 25 per cent of this project.”

But Mr Emerson says the offer is unfair to Queensland taxpayers as it gives with one hand and takes away with the other.

Mitchell Dunk, QUT News.