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Wednesday, 10 September 2003
Page: 19775

Ms GAMBARO (9:50 AM) —The member for Lilley just made an impassioned speech about the detention centre proposal at Pinkenba. I want to place on the record one thing he said that was untrue—that is, that the minister has not looked at any other alternatives. As recently as a week ago I wrote to the minister asking him to look at an alternative site north of Brisbane. He had his departmental officer investigate that site thoroughly and it was deemed unsuitable. So what the member for Lilley said is not entirely truthful.

I want to speak today about something that is very important to the people of Petrie—that is, transport issues. On Monday, 1 September I opened the major Transport Solutions for the Living City seminar series in Australia. This conference examines transport alternatives to the car in the context of government planning, energy efficiency, sustainability and protection of the environment. South-east Queensland was the ideal opening venue. It is Australia's transport hot seat. It is the worst-case scenario of what can happen when short-sighted state transport planning, in its loosest sense, fails the long-term needs of Australia's fastest growing population centre. My electorate of Petrie is a microcosm of failure in this regard.

I spoke in the House recently about the Queensland government's failure to deliver a long-promised Redcliffe rail link in its own integrated Transport 2007 plan. At the same time the Beattie government axed the Houghton Highway bridge duplication, also urgently required and endorsed by the local government and engineering studies. This week a petition will be tabled in state parliament asking Premier Beattie to reverse his axing of the rail link and bridge. Thousands have signed it. This is a case of demonstrated need and feasibility which has been ignored in the state's short-sightedness. People in industry have invested in it but the Queensland government will not. A football stadium, yes; public transport alternatives to the car, no. What dollar value does it put on its people, its environment and its long-term future? Sustainable transport is about reducing reliance on the car by providing alternatives, about reducing greenhouse emissions and about improving personal safety and the health of the community.

Responsibility for Australia's greenhouse gas emissions is often seen as a challenge for industry. But individual choice is ignored. People in my electorate genuinely want an alternative to cars, but without a rail or a bus service how do they travel? The choices that we make every day make transport one of the fastest growing areas of greenhouse gas emissions, with cars alone contributing eight per cent of Australia's emissions. These emissions increased by over 22 per cent between 1990 and 2000. The Greenhouse Challenge is a joint initiative between the Australian government and industry designed to encourage greenhouse gas abatement, and organisations participate on a voluntary basis. One of the priorities of the Queensland government should be the provision of environmentally friendly public transport in the form of the Redcliffe rail link. (Time expired)