Deputy Premier Jackie Trad will take responsibility for Cross River Rail, with the project to now sit entirely within the planning and infrastructure portfolio, as the Palaszczuk Government seeks to turn it from a rail line to a city transformation tool.

For eight years successive governments have spoken about a second river crossing, with the city’s train network predicted to carry an additional 83,000 passengers – 185 fully loaded trains – by 2036.  Just a few years later, the south-east Queensland population is expected to grow to 5.3 million.

The rail link, Ms Trad said, has not just become crucial from a transport point of view but also for what it can do for Brisbane.

“The wider economic benefits of this project can be massive if we take the right steps to harness them,” Ms Trad will say to the Brisbane Development Association on Tuesday morning.

The government announced a statutory Cross River Rail Delivery Authority earlier this year to “help take the politics out” of the project.

The authority and the project will move entirely into Ms Trad’s portfolio, having previously been shared across Transport and Planning and Infrastructure.