The Council of Mayors (SEQ) today welcomed the release of the State Government’s Integrated Regional Transport Plan (IRTP) – Connecting SEQ 2031 – as 20 year vision for ensuring the region’s transport infrastructure keeps up with population growth.
Council of Mayors (SEQ) Chairman Campbell Newman said a long-term transport plan was needed to manage population growth and better link future homes, businesses and workplaces.
“This plan with its vision of doubling the use of public and active transport, while reducing the need to get into your car, is on the right track,” he said.
“At its core is a modernised and expanded rail system backed up by busways and other investments. It will require a multi-billion dollar investment over the next twenty years.
“All three levels of government need to work together to deliver this vision and ensure that SEQ remains a great place to live and work,” he said.
The plan is designed to enable a progressive shift to rail as the backbone of the region’s passenger transport system with buses playing a ‘workhorse’ role in supporting rail and filling in gaps in the rail network.
This will take the pressure off buses, which currently carry more passengers than QR’s CityTrain Network.
And, it also establishes a long term framework to complete the strategic road network, targets freight investment to support the economy and increases active transport use.
“If we do not deliver the infrastructure that will allow better transport services, Brisbane will have the highest growth in avoidable capital city congestion in Australia by 2020,” Cr Newman said.
National studies show the cost of congestion for every Brisbane resident will be about $4,600 each year from 2015.
“Failing to plan a more sustainable transport system is planning to fail SEQ residents and businesses now and well into the future” Cr Newman said.
He said positioning Connecting SEQ 2031 within the Regional Plan and SEQ Infrastructure Plan and Program showed the strength of SEQ’s integrated planning approach.
“The State Government, with the financial backing of the Commonwealth Government and the integrated planning of Local Government must work together to deliver the critical elements of Connecting SEQ 2021,” Cr Newman said.
“This Transport Plan provides the integrated approach linking land use and transport planning that is needed to deliver the SEQ Regional Plan outcomes.
“This is consistent with COAG’s new Commonwealth infrastructure investment framework, which could mean SEQ transport projects can get as good a deal from the Commonwealth as Victoria.”