9 March, 2024

Community sees minister

Community representatives objecting to a proposed motorway route set to impact hundreds of homes in East Caboolture, Moodlu and Elimbah have met with State Transport Minister, Bart Mellish.

On Friday, February 23, community advocates Jason Smith and Kim Litchfield took their fight to the top and attended a 30-minute meeting with the Minister for Transport, Ali King, and senior Transport and Main Roads (TMR) representatives.

Representing hundreds of disgruntled local residents, who over the last two months have strongly voiced their opposition to the TMR proposed routes for Stage 4 of the Bruce Highway Western Alternative (BHWA) planning project; lead petitioner, Jason Smith, said the meeting was ‘introductory.’

He said the Minister committed to engage further once more information had been obtained, and TMR had analysed the 800 community submissions received in response to the proposed routes, estimated to take between 8-10 weeks.

The TMR managed BHWA planning project was established to identify a transport corridor for a future state-controlled road, known as the Moreton Motorway.

The current proposed routes suggest the motorway would travel through East Caboolture, Moodlu and Elimbah, before intersecting with Steve Irwin Way, south of Beerburrum.

Mr Smith said he was able to communicate the need for the Moreton Motorway to go further west, around the urban footprint, and north onto Crown land, prior to the turning east.

He said concerns around the overall TMR engagement and experiences of the community to date were also raised, with the sentiment conveyed that TMR were not being trusted and the community voice had been devalued during the community engagement process.

“The fact is this route needs to minimise impact to homes, farms and environment. This is a generational project and it is critical to get it right for all,” Mr Smith said.

“We also spoke about the community requirements that submissions are taken seriously, that when a route is chosen any impacted residents have the option for early resumption under the protection of the land acquisition act and not TMR policy.”

A statement from Mr Mellish said community and stakeholder consultation was an important part of the planning being undertaken to meet future transport needs as South East Queensland continued to grow.

“Community input is vital to planning future transport corridors,” the spokesperson said.

“The meeting on 23 February was an opportunity to hear directly from members of the community and discuss corridor options, TMR’s engagement approach and working collaboratively.

“TMR are now carefully reviewing all feedback as part of their ongoing investigations on a preferred corridor.”


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