New Qld Motorways owner must finish port road

Construction of new port motorway will be key component of Queensland Motorways privatisation, Government says

New Qld Motorways owner must finish port road
Port motorway to form part of Qld Motorway sale
Construction of a new Port of Brisbane motorway will be a key component of the privatisation of toll road operator Queensland Motorways, the State Government says.

Premier Anna Bligh has moved to assure voters and businesses the fire sale of a number of transport-related assets announced yesterday will not adversely impact the State.

Queensland Motorways will be sold off along with the Port of Brisbane and parts of Queensland Rail in a bid to recover $15 billion in revenue from a recession-hit budget deficit.

Bligh says the new owners of Queensland Motorways – operators of the Logan Motorway, Gateway Motorway and the under-construction Gateway duplication project – will have to finish the motorway to Brisbane’s port under the terms of any sale.

The dual-lane port motorway currently only runs 4km from the Gateway Motorway, with a single-lane road linking the motorway with the port precinct.

The sale of the Queensland Motorways lease is expected to net $4 billion for taxpayers.

Treasurer Andrew Fraser says roads and bridges will remain State-owned under any sale agreement, with a leasing agreement to include provisions to ensure toll prices remain "fair".

"Current Queensland Motorways projects, including the Gateway Motorway duplication and the introduction of free-flow tolling, will also be guaranteed under a commercial arrangement," he says.

"Queensland Motorways has delivered on its charter and there is no longer a need for continued government funding."

A taskforce led by the Treasurer will be formed to determine the timing, sequence and manner of the sale.

Bligh says she had to make "hard decisions" to deal with a $14 billion hole in the budget while continuing infrastructure projects around the State.

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