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Wednesday, 9 November 2016
Page: 3444


Mr EVANS (Brisbane) (10:33): A few weeks ago, I was very pleased to have the Prime Minister visit Brisbane to discuss the government's economic plan and our city's infrastructure. I am delighted to report that the Turnbull government has committed $10 million towards the Brisbane's infrastructure planning, specifically to support the planning of public transport solutions, including the Cross River Rail and the Brisbane bus metro. It is important for Brisbane residents to know that the Turnbull government is not only thinking longer term about infrastructure planning, it is delivering funding for longer-term infrastructure planning right now under our Smart Cities program. Brisbane residents can have confidence that the federal government is actually investing in our longer-term future. Having the federal government play a coordinating role in unlocking the potential of our cities has caught the attention of many Australians, and not just those who work in planning, development or city services. That is because the Smart Cities program and this government's plan for Brisbane is about more than just delivering funding. It is about demanding better outcomes focused on the liveability of our city.

As the new member for Brisbane, I am dedicated to working collaboratively across all levels of government to better plan for the long-term needs of our city. My former roles as an economist in the water and electricity services gave me some insights into how the planning of some of our infrastructure and other services appears to sometimes lag behind urban development. I strongly support longer-term planning and funding of our city infrastructure.

I also want to stress how important it is that the two big public transport proposals, Cross River Rail and the Brisbane bus metro, should not be seen as competing projects—one supports trains and one supports buses. There should be little doubt that, on current growth projections, we will need better infrastructure to solve the public transport bottlenecks that are emerging in both modes of public transport. The two proposals are likely to be delivered according to their own merits and on their own time lines—one by the state government, which is responsible for our trains, and the other by the Brisbane City Council, which is responsible for our buses—but they should not be seen as competing projects. In fact, they are likely to be complementary in the sense that key public transport hubs in Brisbane should promote the ease of commuters switching between different modes of transport.

Importantly, the $10 million provided by the Turnbull government will support planning by bringing all of the parties together: the Commonwealth, the Queensland state government and the Brisbane City Council. It aims to assist planning specifically around how the Queensland government's Cross River Rail project and the Brisbane City Council's bus metro project will integrate, both in the development phase and operationally. I am really pleased to see this type of collaboration. I encourage my parliamentary and municipal colleagues at other levels of government to continue to work together in the spirit of corporation and in the best interests of the people of Brisbane.