JOURNALIST: Talk us through the decision of the State Government not to come on board it seems?
STEVEN CIOBO: So my concern is after the Federal Coalition is putting a billion dollars on the table, this could be part of a $2 billion package to help fix the M1, bust congestion, make Gold Coast lives easier for Gold Coasters. Instead of having the aspiration to fix the M1, we unfortunately see the State Government wanting to decrease the total package by insisting that the billion dollars represents 80 per cent. If the billion dollars is 80 per cent, that means the total funding package is $1.25 billion. If it's matched dollar for dollar, then the total funding package is $2 billion. So I say to Mark Bailey and the Queensland State Labor Government, don't sell Gold Coasters short. Don't try to rip $750 million dollars of funding out of the M1. This is critical funding, Gold Coasters deserve it, Gold Coasters want it. The Federal Government's putting a billion dollars on the table, we've got that money, a billion dollars, there ready to spend to ease congestion on the M1, State Labor needs to make sure that they at least match that funding, rather than trying to make the project smaller, so that they can meet some kind of silly ratio that they've got in their own mind.
JOURNALIST: Where does this leave things at the moment if they don't come to the table?
STEVEN CIOBO: Well, I would strongly urge, and this is why I'm saying very clearly to the Queensland State Labor Government today, enough with the excuses, a billion dollars on the table from the Federal Government, don't try to argue this silly 80/20 rule to try to make the project only a $1.25 billion project. Have more aspiration than that. Gold Coasters deserve more. They don't deserve a State Government trying to come up with excuses to only tip $250,000 million in. They deserve a State Government that's willing to invest a full billion into the Gold Coast well, so that we have a $2 billion package, not a tiny $1.25 billion dollar package, which is what the State Government's clearly trying to argue.
JOURNALIST: Mark Bailey was going on yesterday about the Federal Government short-changing locals and not providing enough money for infrastructure, like the M1. Is it a bit hypocritical that they you know, haven't backed this ‘til now?
STEVEN CIOBO: Well, the Federal Coalition has got a billion dollars on the table for the M1 now, we've put $200 million down at the last Federal Election, we announced $455 million before that for M1 funding. Of course, it was a Coalition Government that built the original M1. So we have a wrong, sorry not a wrong, we have a long track record of delivering in spades for the M1, and what's more Queensland as a share of infrastructure spending has one of the highest infrastructure allocations from the Federal Government in the entire Commonwealth. So on no basis does Mark Bailey have grounds to make that argument, but more importantly and the real thrust that I'm making today, the Federal Government's putting a billion dollars on the table, instead of Mark Bailey arguing that they only want the project to be $1.25 billon, I'm saying to them, you should put your billion dollars down because the Gold Coast deserves a $2 billion M1 improvement, not a $1.25 billion M1 improvement.
JOURNALIST: If they don't come to the table what's going to happen to that $1 billion being offered by the Federal Government?
STEVEN CIOBO: Well, look, we've got a long way to work through this. What would be the simplest, neatest, most straightforward, and frankly, the best solution for Gold Coasters? A billion dollars from the Federal Coalition, a billion from the State Labor Government, that's $2 billion worth of congestion busting on the M1, that solves a lot of problems. Instead of a State Labor Minister coming up with excuses to say that the Queensland Government should only tip in $250 million.
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