POSITIVE POLICY

Brisbane Roads Package (M1 and Ipswich)

M1 upgrade

A Shorten Labor Government will invest $168 million to upgrade the Gateway-M1 merge to ease congestion and boost productivity in one of the fast-growing regions of Queensland.

With congestion in this busy area frequently causing long queues and delays for motorists, Labor will add additional southbound lanes on the M1 between Eight Mile Plans and Springwood to improve the merge with the Gateway Motorway.

Under existing conditions, seven lanes merge into three at this bottleneck.

The $210 million upgrade, to be delivered in conjunction with the Queensland Labor Government, will significantly improve productivity by reducing travelling times, not just for commuters, but also for trucks moving freight around the region.

The upgrade is the perfect example of how the Commonwealth can work with state governments to unlock productivity gains and significantly improve liveability in our cities.

Labor will put people in the Brisbane-Logan-Gold Coast corridor first by lowering traffic build-up and easing congestion on this nationally significant highway.

The project is already listed on Infrastructure Australia’s national priority list.

Traffic congestion remains one of the nation’s most-serious economic challenges, with Infrastructure Australia warning the problem will cost the nation $53 billion a year in lost productivity without action now.

A Shorten Labor Government will confront the problem head-on by investing in strategically important road projects as well as the public transport that is needed to take cars off our busy roads.

It contrast the Abbott-Turnbull Government has failed to achieve progress on major road projects, actually cutting investment in the important upgrades of the Bruce and Pacific Highways.

These failures are reflected in Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showing public sector infrastructure investment fell by 20 per cent between the September quarter of 2013 and the September quarter of 2015.

Labor has a strong record of investing in the M1, with millions of dollars’ worth of upgrades to the road paid for and completed when we were last in Government.

Despite the Liberals’ big talk on the M1, they haven’t provided a single cent for upgrades since taking office.

Ipswich

A Shorten Labor Government will match the Queensland Labor Government’s $200 million commitment to the first stage of upgrading the Ipswich Motorway between Rocklea and Darra to tackle traffic congestion on Brisbane’s southside.

The project scope includes:

  • Upgrading Ipswich Motorway from four to six lanes between Granard Road and Oxley Road
  • New southern service road connection from Rocklea industrial precinct to the Oxley commercial and retail areas
  • Seven new bridges, plus major culverts
  • Suscatand Street intersection traffic signals
  • Active transport improvements.

This important project will boost the capacity of the Ipswich Motorway from four lanes to six between Granard and Oxley roads, reducing travelling times for 85,000 motorists who use it each day, including 12,000 trucks hauling freight.

Labor committed to this upgrade in 2013. But the incoming Turnbull-Abbott Government has failed to advance the project.

Last year’s Infrastructure Australia Audit identified the direct cost of congestion along this corridor at up to $40 million a year in 2011 and increasing.

The project is on Infrastructure Australia’s Priority List.

It’s time to get it done.

With south-east Queensland continuing to grow strongly, it is critical that our roads and railway lines are efficient or traffic congestion will impede economic growth and reduce job creation.

The Turnbull-Abbott Government has reduced infrastructure investment over the past three years.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showing public sector infrastructure investment fell 20 per cent between the September quarter of 2013 and the September quarter of 2015.

A Shorten Labor Government will get infrastructure delivery back on track, not only to lift productivity, but also to provide relief for millions of Australian commuters who already spend too long in their cars.

The former Labor Government spent over $2 billion on earlier stages of the Ipswich Motorway between 2007 and 2013.