TIN news: Queensland seeks additional $123m from Australian Government for Toowoomba Second Range Crossing bypass project
The Queensland Government is seeking a further $123m from the Australian Government for the $1.6bn Toowoomba Second Range Crossing (TSRC) bypass project in Queensland.
The amount is in addition to the $1.285bn already funded by the Australian Government for the TSRC project.
"It appears that Queensland plans to defer its own expenditure on the project for eight years."According to the Australia acting Prime Minister and infrastructure and regional development minister Warren Truss, the Queensland Government's request for additional funds comes despite its expectations of earning hundreds of millions of dollars on toll revenue.
Truss said: "It appears that Queensland plans to defer its own expenditure on the project for eight years.
"It is essential that Queensland's proposal achieves the best value for money outcome for all Australians, and no such judgement can be made based on the scant information so far provided by Queensland.
"To enable a full assessment, the Australian Government has been seeking access for many months to the funding model Queensland is using to test financing assumptions for this project."
However, Queensland has so far not revealed its funding model for the project, forcing federal government to freeze the funding and further delay the construction of the project.
Queensland treasurer Tim Nicholls said: "We are quite disturbed over what the reason is. It hasn't been made clear to us.
"We've got $342m in our budget. We have been working very hard to make sure the paperwork is in place and we can get going in building this vital project."
Queensland is now sending two of its senior project officers to Canberra to work with federal officials on the details of the project.
Truss said: "It will probably take the Australian Government about a week to evaluate and respond to the financial model proposed by Queensland. This could have been done months ago had Projects Queensland been willing to cooperate."
The TSRC is a 41km bypass road, running north of Toowoomba from the Warrego Highway at Helidon in the east, to the Gore Highway at Athol in the west, through Charlton.
Once completed, the TSRC is expected to reduce the number of trucks in Toowoomba city, decrease travel time, relieve congestion, improve driver safety and support regional growth.
Earlier this month, the Queensland Government had shortlisted three firms including Range Connect, RangeLink and Nexus for submitting proposals for the TSRC bypass project.