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Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Page: 3830


Mr LAMING (Bowman) (19:31): Many here will be familiar with my story. The Pinklands Sporting Complex is a 22-hectare reserve in my electorate of Bowman, nestled against Moreton Bay, encircled by the beautiful Eprapah Reserve, the southern expansion of Thornlands, which after all is a part of outer metropolitan Brisbane meeting Moreton Bay.

On any morning you will find koalas, natural wildlife, the sound of Australian bushland punctuated only by the squeals of delight of young children playing netball or practising rugby league or the silent exhilaration of riding a pony at the pony club for the first time. Perhaps those at Yurara Art Society are indulging in their great passion for painting or possibly people are pulling up to play a day of bridge.

It is so typically Australian, yet entering the Pinklands Sporting Complex is increasingly becoming a dangerous proposition. This was highlighted just this weekend with an appalling three-vehicle collision in very, very bad weather when a young resident was attempting to turn right into oncoming traffic and was hit from behind. Luckily, no-one was hurt but that was only through fate and incredible luck, because these three vehicles were strewn across the road. A power pole fell onto one of the vehicle's bonnets and, for a long period, traffic had to be diverted.

This is the most recent example of what has been a 10-year struggle to improve entrance to the Pinklands sporting facility for young families who drive their children to their pursuits and passions. They should be able to do that with a set of traffic lights that allows them to do so safely. This has been for me a six-year campaign, going back to the year after I was elected. In that era, we worked to expand the initial exit to two lanes to allow vehicles to turn left without being impeded.

What has happened in the last 12 months is most disappointing. Finally, a state government agreed to duplicate Cleveland-Redland Bay Road, which runs past Pinklands. It put in place and installed the traffic lights that we needed, only for our local Redland City Council to fail to do its part of the bargain: connect up the Pinklands sporting facility to the set of traffic lights that have been installed.

We have the appalling situation of a road closed sign into the Pinklands Sporting Complex and local families in their thousands every weekend using the ancient and extremely dangerous exit as a result. I honestly asked a very simple question as any elected member would: why was this bungle—this debacle—last year not fixed with the appropriate council works being synchronised with the state government duplication of the road? There has been no satisfactory answer. The second question I asked was: when will it be fixed? Similarly, no answer has been forthcoming.

At this moment, many people in Redlands would say, 'We admire the campaign but why should a federal member of parliament be taking the lead?' I make a very, very simple pledge and undertaking to the people of Redlands: if any level of government, even my own, does not deliver for you, you are completely within your rights, having given that jurisdiction the chance to fix the problem, to go to other levels and seek their support, mobilise the community and ensure resources are directed to get a solution that is best for the people. That is all I am asking for here in Pinklands.

Redland council have had their chance. They have had their meetings and delivered nothing. They have written meaningless correspondence on the issue but given no comfort to the people who brave that intersection every weekend. I was disappointed to see that it finally became personal when last week the local councillor, whose identity I will protect by not naming her in this chamber, said:

Mr Laming has long touted that he "fixed Pinklands" access in the past, and that he's undertaken a decade-long campaign for a safe Pinklands entrance.

Yet, a search revealed that from 2004 to today's date there has only been one letter from Mr Laming to council relating to roads, safety or Pinklands. It's dated February this year and sent to the council's CEO … one letter in seven years, some campaign!

I would like to seek leave at the end of the speech to table the nine pieces of correspondence in seven months that actually led to the intersection being fixed in the first place, which was correspondence between me, a state member and the mayor. The fact that those documents are not on the council record in should no way impugn the community effort to get this intersection fixed.

It is quite simple: we want to work together to get this fixed to make it safe for people to drive into and out of Pinklands every day of our lives, but I am disappointed to see the response from this councillor who said the following, which I can only regard as a hysterical rant in the paper:

Do we want petty, party political squabbling in council as well? Do we really want a factionalised council run by faceless people at party headquarters? Do we want councillors who are lap dogs for the federal member? The questions are rhetorical - of course we don't.

Let's fix this intersection. (Time expired)