“Thank you Chair. I wish to speak in support of Program 2, Infrastructure for Brisbane and I would like to thank the Chair, Councillor McLachlan for his work in delivering this COVID-19 Budget.

In recent years, residents in my Ward have received a series of road projects that have transformed our local area. Namely, the Telegraph Road Corridor Upgrade that was delivered under the LNP administration and notably was delivered with a $100 million saving to ratepayers. And Chair can I say that this road not only serves my ward but also the Deagon ward who are heavy users of the roads in my ward. We are ONE city chair, and the roads and bike paths are used not only by Brisbane residents but in fact other Councils and Queenslanders.

As our city continues to grow and our population expands, we are delivering the required infrastructure that will not only facilitate current demands but puts our road network in good stead for the coming years. As we continue to tackle congestion hotspots this administration has generated a 500 million dollar partnership with the Federal Government,  which will invest in creating better roads for Brisbane through the Urban Congestion Fund.  This involves priority projects across the city where congestion and safety need to be addressed and it will tackle a number of sites in Bracken Ridge Ward. Together we are working to get residents home quicker and safer and I thank Luke Howarth the Federal Member for Petrie who worked hard to secure federal funding for these projects.

Mr Chair, one site that many of my residents are excited about is the upgrade of the Norris and Barbour Roads intersection in Bracken Ridge. This intersection is often the topic of conversation with residents, as it is experiencing over 25,000 vehicles each day passing through, and is beyond its capacity.  This Road is also used by residents from Deagon Ward Chair, as a link to Gympie Road and Moreton Bay Suburbs.  Following investigations in the 19/20 Budget the roundabout will be upgraded to reduce congestion and increase safety, and in particular for cyclists and pedestrians. This will mean residents in the Western pocket of Barbour Road and in the Oaks Estate will be able to access Norris Road and subsequently two major roads, Telegraph Road and  Bracken Ridge Road without the lengthy and worsening delays, particularly during peak times.

Norris Road, which is the north-south connection between Telegraph Road and Bracken ridge Road is also home to Norris Road State School. I know from personal experience how excited many of the parents doing the morning drop-off or afternoon pick-up will be once this is complete. In addition to the intersection upgrade, Norris Road will also receive a range of safety improvements to ensure it is safe and flowing at optimal capacity.

As part of the Urban Congestion Fund ,  Hoyland Street, Bracken Ridge will also benefit from significant upgrades. The Braken Ridge Road Hoyland Street and Strathpine Road corridor is an important east-west route linking the Moreten Bay area with the northern Brisbane suburbs of Bald Hills and Bracken Ridge over the Gympie arterial road.  And Chair, on to the suburbs in the opposition ward of Deagon.   Despite the substantial investment, residents will not be able to enjoy its full effects until the State Government takes action in addressing the Strathpine Road overpass.  Although in the design phase, many residents that I’ve spoken with aren’t in support of the proposed diverging diamond interchange with most worried it will be more problematic than it already is.

On the topic of flyovers, despite Council’s Telegraph Road Corridor Upgrade that flows at optimal capacity, for residents of Deagon and Bracken Ridge ward, it still comes to a grinding halt at the State Government controlled Linkfield Road overpass that I know my predecessor Amanda Cooper the LNP candidate for Aspley, is now petitioning for. Despite funding on the table by the Federal Government, this vital overpass duplication still remains to be built by the Labor State Government and traffic continues to back up , even after the substantial investment on Telegraph road by the Brisbane City Council.

The urban congestion fund will also provide an upgrade to Beams Road between Lacy Road and Handford Road, spanning several suburb and again including the Deagon Ward.  This section of Beams Road has a high crash rate and is suffering from worsening congestion.  It’s a major east-west arterial road on the northside with approximately 18,000 vehicles that use this road each day, and that number is projected to rise to 26,000 vehicles by 2031.

In recent months I’ve been contacted by multiple residents in Carseldine and Fitzgibbon with significant concerns about this road, particularly with regards to the multiple impending Labor State Government developments in the immediate vicinity putting more cars onto the local road network. These projects have been essentially fast tracked with no Council involvement or consideration for Council assets. And to add to this congestion we still have an open level crossing on Beams Road that despite past election promises by this Labor State Government, has not been removed. Even with Council funding support for this project we again have seen no shovel in the ground and I’m sure residents will have their say about this in October.

Clearly Mr Chair, this LNP administration and Morrison Government can see that work needs to be done to increase the capacity of this road and detailed design for this project will progress this financial year. The Federal Government has committed $50 million towards this project, which is terrific.

The last item I would like to speak on is Barfoot Street, at Bracken Ridge State High School where a $212,000 investment will deliver a safer, dedicated pedestrian crossing point for students. And again Chair, used by residents from Deagon Ward suburb of Brighton who attend this school.  I know this is something the School is excited about and Council Officers are in discussions with the school at the moment to ensure student safety is paramount as looking at other ways safety can be improved around the site.

I commend this program to the chamber.”