WITH the federal election campaigns of both major political parties centred in Brisbane starting this weekend, South East Queensland Mayors have today urged both political leaders to address the biggest issue facing the fastest growing region in Australia – traffic congestion.
Council of Mayors (SEQ) Chair Campbell Newman said quality of life and cost of living pressures in SEQ would only get worse if there was not a significant commitment made by the next Federal Government to deliver vital transport infrastructure.
Cr Newman said a commitment to help deliver Queensland’s Cross River Rail and ‘Magnificent 7’ transport infrastructure projects was the key to winning support in SEQ.
“In SEQ the single biggest issue is traffic congestion,” Cr Newman said.
“Unfortunately the biggest stumbling block to delivering the much needed transport infrastructure to support the fastest growing region in Australia is the lack of a federal commitment to help pay for it.”
Cr Newman warned both major parties that ignoring infrastructure in SEQ would cost local residents and businesses money and lose them votes.
“If a new Federal Government ignores traffic congestion in SEQ, Brisbane will have the highest growth in avoidable capital city congestion in Australia by 2020.”
“National studies show the cost of congestion for every Brisbane resident will be about $4,600 each year from 2015 and families can’t afford this additional hit on our hip pockets,” he said.
Only two infrastructure funding commitments have been made so far, with the Coalition promising $700m for the Toowoomba Bypass and Labor pledging $54m to fix the Warrego Highway/Blacksoil intersection.
With about half of the region’s 22 Federal electorates on margins of less than five per cent, SEQ Mayors want local candidates to secure federal funding commitments to deliver the Cross River Rail Upgrade and the ‘Magnificent 7’ projects listed below:
• Delivering the Toowoomba Bypass:
• Upgrading Kingsford Smith Drive;
• Extending the Eastern Busway to Capalaba;
• Fixing the Warrego Highway/Blacksoil intersection:
• Widening the Pacific Motorway through Logan;
• Expanding the Sunshine Coast Airport; and
• Upgrading and extending the Gold Coast Rail Line through to Coolangatta.
Released this week, the RACQ 2010 Red Spot Survey report revealed the three most frustrating bottlenecks for Queensland motorists, all ‘Magnificent 7’ transport infrastructure projects:
• Pacific Motorway and Gateway Motorway merge (Eight Mile Plains);
• Warrego Highway and Brisbane Valley Highway at Blacksoil; and
• Old Cleveland Road and Cavendish Road (Coorparoo).