Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has agreed to work on a number of “issues” with the Cross River Rail project, following a meeting with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
The premier and prime minister sat down together in Brisbane on Thursday following weeks of sniping about funding for the project.
Ms Palaszczuk described the meeting as “positive”, but said the state government had agreed to address several issues with the project identified by Infrastructure Australia.
“The prime minister has conveyed to me that Infrastructure Australia has a couple of issues (on which) they would like some more work done and I have said that I will progress that work as quickly as possible,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“I would hope in the future it would be possible to have more discussions like the one we had today.”
Speaking at a later press conference, Mr Turnbull also described the meeting as “constructive” and “cordial” but also repeated his view that the business case presented by Queensland “needs more work”.
“The submission or the proposal is inadequate in a number of respects; this is Infrastructure Australia’s view,” Mr Turnbull told reporters.
“It needs more work. I am not making a criticism of it, I am just stating a fact.”
“We certainly want to bring the assessment process to a conclusion but at this stage it is still ongoing.”
Mr Turnbull said issues including Cross River Rail’s integration with other transport systems, notably the Brisbane Metro proposed by Brisbane City Council, as well as land use opportunities, had been identified by Infrastructure Australia.
The premier wouldn’t say how long it will take to work through the issues, but said she will be meeting with Deputy Premier and Transport Minister Jackie Trad, and her director-general to discuss how to move forward.
She says she and Mr Turnbull also talked about category D funding for people affected by Cyclone Debbie, as well as the national energy policy, as she spruiked her policy of a hydro-electric plant in North Queensland.