Greens MP and spokesperson for high speed rail Adam Bandt joined Mt Coot-tha Greens candidate Adam Stone at Roma St Station in Brisbane today to launch the Greens State election policy for high speed rail.
Mr Bandt criticised Premier Bligh and LNP leader Campbell Newman for failing to get on board the shift to high speed rail that has been driven by the Greens agreement to support the minority government in Canberra.
The second stage of the federal High Speed Rail feasibility study is due to be released in July.
"Brisbane and Queensland are in danger of being left behind as the rest of the country gets moving with high speed rail," Mr Bandt said.
"There is a real risk that the Federal Labor government will lower their ambition and limit the next steps on high speed rail to Sydney and Newcastle. We are reaching a crucial stage in the planning for high speed rail. I am concerned that Brisbane and Queensland could miss out unless the government gets on board and starts going in to bat for Queenslanders."
"High speed rail could transform Queensland's economy in the south-east linking Brisbane to regional areas and the rest of the country. Queensland needs a Premier and a government willing to lead on high speed rail. Anna Bligh and Campbell Newman need to get on board. "
"Queensland would also be in a better position if Treasurer Andrew Fraser had focused on infrastructure such as high speed rail instead of privatising parts of Queensland's rail network," Mr Stone said.
"The State government has already prioritised road tunnels over rail and failed to put adequate investment into the south-east rail network, including its continued dithering over a new cross-river rail link. Missing the high speed rail opportunity would be a further failure."
"Fraser is also failing voters in Mt Coot-tha who want to see Queensland embrace 21st century transport."
"The old parties are missing the big opportunities that high speed rail will offer Brisbane and Queensland. We need to be dealing our selves in with serious concrete commitments."
The Greens want:
1) A clear commitment from the State government that it will participate in a Federal government led high speed development on the East Coast;
2) $10 million allocated to a strategic assessment and implementation of Queensland's involvement in the next stages of high speed rail; and
3) A down payment in the next state budget and commitments over the forward estimates as Queensland's contribution to a future high speed rail consortium.