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Monday, 30 May 2005
Page: 23

Mr RIPOLL (1:58 PM) —Last Friday two reports into traffic problems confronting Ipswich and south-west Brisbane were released and both confirmed what local residents have known for years: regardless of whatever else happens, the Ipswich Motorway must be fully upgraded. These latest reports add to the lengthy period of studies into the Ipswich Motorway. What is needed now is the political and financial commitment from the Howard government to get on with the job of fixing the region’s traffic woes. The government has talked a lot about commitment and money on the table but the truth is that the cupboard is bare. The federal government has had nearly 10 years to do something about the Ipswich motorway but today and 10 budgets later we have just had another report and still no action.

My office has been flooded with calls from concerned residents and community groups demanding to know what the government is up to, as, I am sure, other federal members in the local area have. Organisations like the Salvation Army at the Riverview Farm, which does a great job with many young people in the area, are deeply concerned about their future. The Wolston Park Golf Club is livid about the government’s lack of regard for and consultation about the half bypass, and they are angry about the unnecessary uncertainty caused by the Howard government’s playing politics with this issue of road infrastructure. This is a disgrace and shows how much the government is out of touch with the needs of the people in Oxley. There is now no certainty and more confusion. People are not sure about the future of that road or the so-called bypass. These reports tell us something we always knew about roads in the local region and that is that we need to upgrade the Ipswich motorway.

The SPEAKER —Order! It being 2 pm, in accordance with standing order 43 the time for members’ statements has concluded.