Mayor to seek Abbott's support for rail project
MAYOR Paul Pisasale will lobby Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to support the proposed Springfield Central to Ipswich rail line when he visits Canberra in the coming months.
Cr Pisasale, who will attend the Council of Mayors in Canberra in Canberra, is concerned that Mr Abbott has announced he will abolish funding for urban rail projects if the Coalition wins office.
"When I am in Canberra I will be talking to some of his shadow ministers about exactly what his policies are," Cr Pisasale said.
"I don't just want promises. I want to see how it is going to be funded and how much money is going into it.
"Public transport is the most important thing for our region because we haven't kept up with infrastructure. If we don't have the public transport, then we will have to build bigger roads."
Springfield Land Corporation chairman Maha Sinnathamby said he "definitely supports the mayor's move".
"We have already seen the impact and tremendous growth that rail is bringing to this part of the world," he said.
"It is an economic driver. The first stage of the rail line coming to Springfield has already brought tremendous confidence and business activity."
It was estimated by Infrastructure Australia that it would cost $3.2 billion to build a rail loop right from Springfield to Redbank Plains, Ripley Valley, Yamanto and on to Ipswich.
The jointly-funded extension of the railway line to Springfield was agreed to by the previous state government and is being completed by the current government.
Blair MP Shayne Neumann, who supports the construction of the proposed Springfield to Ipswich line, said it had "no chance" of being funded by a Tony Abbott-led government and would "only happen under a Federal Labor government".
"Paul Pisasale wants the federal and state governments to come to the party ... and I agree with him," Mr Neumann said.
"Anthony Albanese is the Federal Minister for Infrastructure and both Bernie Rippoll and I have told him that it is a good idea to extend that rail line right through to Ipswich. That will assist not just people in Springfield and the fastest-growing suburb in Ipswich, which is Redbank Plains. It will open up the Ripley Valley as well."