18 June, 2024

Where is the infrastructure?

Somerset Mayor Jason Wendt said he was “bitterly disappointed” at the lack of infrastructure-building investment in last week’s State Budget.

Deb Frecklington MP at her desk with the State Budget papers.
Deb Frecklington MP at her desk with the State Budget papers.

Cr Wendt said the region was in dire need of funding for key projects including an upgrade of the Brisbane Valley Highway, which he described as a “death trap” and asked how many more lives had to be lost before the state government fi xed the road.

“We need the Brisbane Valley Highway upgraded and we needed this done years ago,” he said.

“Council commissioned consultants GHD to undertake a safety audit of the highway and they confirmed it does not meet safe road design standards.

“The highway is the economic and social lifeblood of Somerset and we deserve better.”

Cr Wendt called on all residents to put pressure on the state government to fund an upgrade of the highway, saying the Budget “does not deliver where it needs to”.

“The State budget is focussed on payments to individuals rather than the development of infrastructure which can make our community safer and more productive,” he said.

“It’s stifling our growth.”

Cr Wendt acknowledged the $4.69m funding for Somerset community projects and the opportunity of applying for funding for large projects, but said unless there is significant investment towards infrastructure, “nothing will change”.

Aside from the missing Brisbane Valley Highway upgrade, Cr Wendt also said he is concerned the State will have increasing expectations for local government to take on Fire Ant control, without additional funding.

In regard to the Somerset and Wivenhoe dams, Cr Wendt said the funding for safety upgrades does not deliver on the needed funding for supply of water infrastructure.

LNP member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington, described Premier Steven Miles’ first budget as “the worst state budget” she had ever seen for Nanango.

Mrs Frecklington expected funding for the fix and upgrade of key transport corridors, especially the D’Aguilar and Brisbane Valley highways, along with anti-hooning measures.

“There is not one project to fi x the region’s bad roads,” she said.

“I am also very disappointed that there’s no anti-hooning measures for the Somerset communities of Dundas and Coominya.

“No funding has been assigned for measures to stop this dangerous and anti-social activity.

“These projects are my priority because they are the priorities of my local community.”

Moreton Bay Mayor Peter Flannery thanked the State Government for the initiatives to help residents struggling with the cost of living.

But he expressed the same disappointment as Cr Wendt, as no critical infrastructure requests were “taken seriously”.

Similar to the federal budget, Cr Flannery said there was again no foresight for the growing city in terms of planning, naming the bypass tunnels of Gympie Road a major issue.

“While we congratulate the Government in stumping up $318 million to progress the Gympie Road bypass tunnels, we lament the missed opportunity in extending the tunnels further, instead of just dumping the problem in City of Moreton Bay,” he said.

“Approximately 42 per cent of City of Moreton Bay’s workforce travels to Brisbane CBD daily, and a substantial portion of the traffic on Gympie Road originates from outside the immediate north Brisbane area, so it is disappointing that the tunnel works do not consider connectivity with routes further to the north.”

Another area he expressed his disappointment towards is the lack of investment in Buchanan Road, which will open housing supply in Waraba.

LNP State Member for Glass House, Andrew Powell, echoed Cr Flannery’s sentiment of disappointment, saying the new budget “won’t change much” for his electorate, which covers Woodford, Elimbah, Wamuran, and Mt Mee.

“In the electorate of Glass House, all we have seen in this budget is a lot of reannouncements – nothing new,” he said.

“Statewide, it is a budget for the next four months, not the next four years.

“Short-term policies will be enjoyed by many for the period of time they last, and I know that $1000 off your next power bill may feel helpful at the outset, and I know it will be welcomed, but it is a band aid solution that does nothing to address the real cost of living crisis.”

Labor State Member for Pine Rivers, Nikki Boyd, on the other hand said the budget was good for her region, delivering on key projects for her Pine Rivers community, which include Dayboro and Mt Pleasant.

“I’m excited to see funding committed for upgrades to local transport infrastructure such as Linkfield Road, the Eatons Crossing Road upgrade and Gympie Road Bypass Tunnel,” she said.

Labor State Member for Pumicestone, Ali King, echoed Ms Boyd’s statements, saying this first budget from the new government “is doing what matters for Queensland”.

“This year’s State Budget is addressing the number one issue for Queenslanders with major cost of living help,” she said.

“There is also funding to assist the Moreton Bay City Council with recovery and betterment projects for infrastructure impacted by the terrible flooding events we’ve suffered over the past few years.”

She has also named several Bribie Island projects that received funding, including the Satellite Hospital, Bribie Neighbourhood Centre and upgrades to Bribie Island Road.

Labor State Member for Morayfield, Mark Ryan, said the budget would “go a long way to helping local families make ends meet."


Most Popular