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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    PM talks constructive with focus on Cross River Rail and TC Debbie recovery

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Thursday, May 18, 2017

    PM talks constructive with focus on Cross River Rail and TC Debbie recovery

    Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has welcomed the commitment from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, in their meeting in Brisbane today, to work in partnership, particularly on Cross River Rail and Tropical Cyclone Debbie recovery.

    “Last week’s Federal Budget was very disappointing for Queensland. We missed out on key infrastructure spending,” the Premier said.

    “I don’t believe Canberra is an ATM, but I do believe Canberra needs be a partner.”

    “Today’s meeting with the Prime Minister was constructive.”

    Cross River Rail

    “The failure to make any specific funding for Cross River Rail in the Federal Budget was extremely disappointing. Despite receiving the business case and signing an MoU on the project last year, the Federal Government continues to refuse to contribute the funding needed,” she said.

    “Cross River Rail will bust congestion. It will take up to 18,500 car trips off our major arterial roads every day. It will be the equivalent of a 30-lane highway and new stations will improve access to key amenities including hospitals, universities and sporting venues.”

    “We have completed a $7 million, 2000-page business case and we sent that to the Federal Government last year.”

    “My Government has committed $850 million for the project. Of all the projects nominated for the National Rail Program in the Budget last week, only Cross River Rail has a completed business case.”

    “The Prime Minister is prepared to work on Cross River Rail.”

    TC Debbie recovery

    “The partnership with Australian Defence Force in the immediate response and the activation of the joint State and Federal Natural Disaster Relief Arrangements in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Debbie and severe flooding has helped thousands of Queenslanders.”

    “Following the immediate response, including the restoration of essential services and assistance for families, we are now focussing on the recovery.”

    “As a Government, we have released a two-year State Recovery Plan, called Operation Queensland Recovery.”

    “To ensure Queensland communities recover stronger and sooner, I have made a Category D application under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements to provide for key local government infrastructure in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Debbie.”

    “The Category D application is for a package of $220 million, which my Government is committed to fund half. Key projects proposed through this package include the South Rockhampton Flood Levee.”

    BACKGROUND

    Cross River Rail

    The Palaszczuk Government has committed $850 million for the Cross River Rail project and it submitted the business case for the Cross River Rail project to the Turnbull Government in June last year.

    The Turnbull Government’s Federal Budget provided for the new $10 billion National Rail Program has only $600 million allocated — and not until 2019-20 and 2020-21.

    On 2 December 2016, Federal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the Australian Government's $10 million contribution to planning, readiness for market and establishment of the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority. The Australian Government will partner with Queensland through participation on the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority Board. See link to joint statement http://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/pf/releases/2016/December/pf084_2016.aspx

    The MoU sets out the agreed roles and responsibilities of both governments, as well as the governance arrangements in relation to the $10 million contribution.

    TC Debbie recovery

    Last week, the Palaszczuk Government has proposed it and the Turnbull Government jointly fund a $220 million package to provide additional assistance for communities, businesses, industries and the environment following the devastation of Tropical Cyclone Debbie and severe flooding.

    The proposed package, to be under a Commonwealth and State-funded Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) Category D declaration, would include key local government infrastructure projects, including the South Rockhampton Flood Levee.

    The proposed funding includes: 

    • Package 1: $135 million Recovery to Resilience - Local Council Package to help the hardest hit local government areas undertake key infrastructure projects that will generate employment, boost the local economy, drive community recovery and build resilience.
    • Package 2: $60m Recovery to Resilience – infrastructure package (Betterment) to enable important infrastructure that has been damaged by TC Debbie to be rebuilt to a stronger more disaster resilient state.
    • Package 3: $15m Recovery to Resilience – environmental package to ensure the recovery of impacted environmental areas, recognising the important contribution our unique environment makes to the Queensland and Australian tourism industry.
    • Package 4: $10m Recovery to Resilience – economic package, to support the recovery of industry and businesses in and around impacted areas that experienced significant disruption and damage.

    Following Tropical Cyclone Marcia in 2015, the Premier and then Prime Minister Tony Abbott agreed to share the costs of a $27.75 million Category D package.

    See link to the Operation Queensland Recovery Plan http://qldreconstruction.org.au/resilience-and-recovery

    Media contact: Kirby Anderson (Premier’s office) 0417 263 791