SEQ Mayors today called for all major political parties to commit their support to 12 state and regional infrastructure priorities in South East Queensland (SEQ) ahead of the next State Election.
The Council of Mayors (SEQ) launched its submission Getting SEQ Moving 2011-2012 – National, State Regional and Local Infrastructure Priorities in Brisbane this morning.
Council of Mayors (SEQ) Chairman Councillor Graham Quirk said the need to create additional transport infrastructure capacity in SEQ is critical now more than ever.
“Investment in infrastructure is a key factor in ensuring sustainable economic growth because it builds and supports capacity for the future,” Cr Quirk said.
“The Queensland Government has forecast annual economic growth rates of at least 5 per cent from 2011 on yet the SEQ region is already suffering from capacity constraints with the per capita cost of congestion in Brisbane significantly higher than in any other city in Australia.
“As our population also grows the State Government needs to maintain a strong commitment to delivering infrastructure that will balance cost of living and quality of life pressures in our region,” he said.
Cr Quirk said investing in infrastructure now was an investment in the future productivity of the SEQ regional economy.
“With 52 per cent of the export from the Port of Brisbane coming from the Surat Basin, what happens in Brisbane’s transport system or on Toowoomba’s Range Crossing impacts on the entire region,” he said.
“We also need to have the transport infrastructure in place to move workers from new growing suburbs to the where the jobs are.
“SEQ Mayors have agreed on 12 key regional transport priorities which we are calling on both sides of politics to include in their investment plans for the next term of State Parliament,” he said.
The Council of Mayors (SEQ) projects of State and Regional significance include: Gold Coast Rapid Transit (stage two); Gold Coast Transitway and Bikeway upgrades; Redland City for Port of Brisbane Corridor; Dangerous Open Level Crossing elimination projects; Redland City-Gateway Motorway Corridor; Bayley Road extension; Mt Lindesay Highway upgrade (stage two); Lockyer Valley Emergency Helipad; Sunshine Coast CoastConnect; Beaudesert Town Centre Bypass; Toowoomba Outer Circulating Road; and the Timber Bridge Replacement Program (SEQ).
Cr Quirk said the State also needed to partner with local governments to invest in ‘social infrastructure’ to enhance the liveability and sustainability of the region, particularly as the State’s SEQ Regional Plan projects the population to increase from 3 million to 4.4 million by 2031.
“We have identified eight bikeway and active transport projects, eleven public spaces projects and seven rail projects that we would like to State to invest in,” he said.
“These investments will ensure that as SEQ grows, our economy will remain efficient and productive while the liveability and sustainability of our suburbs and towns will be enhanced,” he said.
The priorities released today will form the basis of lobbying by SEQ Mayors up to the 2012 State Election.