Raw deal for Logan on M1 funding announcement
Published: 22 June 2016
City of Logan Mayor, Cr Luke Smith, has expressed concern about reports that a re-elected LNP government would offer only 50 per cent funding towards a partial upgrade of the M1 at the Gateway merge.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has promised an upgrade of the much maligned M1 at the Gateway merge, which carries 140,000 vehicles a day and crawls at carpark speed during extended peak hours for tens of thousands of motorists.
Mayor Luke Smith said he had been optimistic about seeing the LNP match Labor’s offer of an 80/20 funding commitment to the M1 during the election campaign, however he was frustrated the federal government had only appeared to offer 50 per cent funding for the upgrade.
“I have spoken with Queensland’s Minister for Main Roads this morning, who confirmed the State Government had only allocated 20 per cent funding for this upgrade in last week’s budget,” he said.
“Yet the Coalition appears to only be putting forward 50 per cent when accepted practice is that, as the Federal Government, they should pay 80 per cent.
“The 80/20 funding split is a precedent that has been well established for roads forming part of the National Key Freight Route, which includes the M1.
“I am deeply concerned this issue will, yet again, end up caught in a political stalemate.”
Mayor Smith said the shortfall would mean work on the important project likely would not start in January 2017 as initially hoped.
“I am calling on the Prime Minister to reconsider his offer so work on this vital transport route can start in time to relieve gridlock before the Commonwealth Games in 2018,” he said.
“The residents and businesses of Logan, Brisbane and the Gold Coast are fed up with having to pay the price for government inaction.
“What motorists and residents are after is certainty. Without this critical upgrade, the M1 will remain a carpark for many years to come, but what we need is an assurance that this problem is going to be fixed.
“We want both major parties and the Queensland Government to commit to the urgent and unconditional upgrade of this entire section of the M1 through Logan, including the south-east busway extension, before we celebrate a victory for common sense.”
Over the past month, Mayor Smith has led a community campaign with the call to Get Logan Moving. The primary objective is to gain funding commitments on critical infrastructure projects before the federal election next weekend.
In April, the ALP committed $168 million to fund a 4.5km stretch on the southbound side between Eight Mile Plains and the Springwood-Rochedale Rd exit, which includes a $42 million contribution from the State Government under an 80/20 funding split.