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Tuesday, 14 February 2017
Page: 1015

Mr LAMING (Bowman) (19:55): The debate this evening is an opportunity to update the House on the connectivity issues in the seat of Bowman, in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Bowman is an outer metropolitan seat. It includes the Moreton Bay islands. There is a huge volume of commuter movement between my electorate and large commercial areas around Brisbane, and increasingly Bowman's four major arterials are becoming the subject of community movements to see improvements in that infrastructure. Around the same time, and serendipitously, the Australian Automobile Association released its How safe are our roads? publication, part of the Australian Road Assessment Program, which is an impressive national effort to identify the highways that are most in need.

In my electorate of Bowman, Rickertt Road has already been identified—I think two years ago—as being the fourth worst road stretch in Queensland. Barely known outside of my electorate—and it is the northern half that use it—Rickertt Road has a single-lane right-hand turn that is not so much a fatality risk as the cause of huge congestion. That is contributed to by the early morning movement of traffic to large numbers of schools just outside my electorate, which is superimposed on peak hour traffic. The afternoons and evenings are not so bad because, obviously, school pick-up and end-of-work times are slightly separate.

This area features one of the few examples of a four-lane road narrowing back down to two. It is a quirk of history. The connecting communities money provided by the then Howard-Anderson coalition government funded an improvement in road infrastructure in my electorate to the end of my city boundary. The road then fell back to a single lane for the next two or three kilometres, and Brisbane was to do the duplication back out to meet it. We are now 10 years down the track and the duplication has not occurred. I had no hope of it occurring until just over a year ago, when the Brisbane City Council, the Liberal coalition government, announced that they would be supporting a duplication of most of the roads between Manly Road and the Rickertt-Green Camp intersection.

There was one obvious omission, one last intersection that was not covered, and I am delighted to say that at the last federal election the coalition committed to that final piece in the puzzle, a medium-term solution for people in the top half my electorate travelling to Brisbane every day. It is pretty hard down here to overstate just how important politically the issue of getting back and forth to work is for people in my electorate, particularly those who live in areas a fair way from work but also those who are in the hub-and-spoke structure that Brisbane is. Mr Deputy Speaker Coulton, maybe you are not familiar with large metropolitan areas and the importance of moving between home and work, but in Bowan people are constantly rat running to try to find the best way to work. Every tiny change to the road infrastructure system leads to a cascade of events where more traffic uses the improvement and things seem a little better. That is what we have experienced over the last year.

The particular element of Rickertt that I want to highlight tonight is the fact that large volumes of traffic turning right have been blocking the major two routes into the city. This will be a continuing challenge for Brisbane City Council but they have put money on the table, with the work sequenced over three years. My job as a federal MP is to find some potential opportunities to have some of that work resequenced and done earlier. The only thing that voters are thinking about is how soon this road will be fixed. They are not that interested in three- and four-year time lines, as we know from many issues.

More broadly, I want to look at three other areas. Old Cleveland Road still carries 40 per cent of all traffic from my city to Brisbane, with 25 per cent of that component simply trying to get onto the Gateway Motorway. Some revisions to the sequencing of traffic lights were sufficient to alleviate a huge volume of the congestion that we have seen there for the last five years. If there is one point I would like to leave you with tonight—apart from the constant claim from every MP that they want more money spent on roads—is that with commonsense traffic flow studies we really can tweak the road system and ameliorate some difficult situations for motorists.

Further south, the Beenleigh Redland Bay Road is the route between my city and Logan. The people using this road do not necessarily head straight into the Brisbane CBD but are tangentially heading down towards the Gold Coast. Again, it is a very important single-lane road. Wuduru Road is in great need of an upgrade. There are traffic lights all the way from Redland Bay through to Carbrook. And these areas are being negotiated now with developers, who have committed to really impressive upgrades, but probably the intersection that is most in need of being done, outside Carbrook State School, is yet to be considered.

In the bigger picture we have the second route between Brisbane and the Gold Coast. That potentially may run through Mount Cotton Road. It will be of incredible significance to my electorate if that does transpire. It is a piece of tourism infrastructure if nothing else, but there will be significant environmental concerns.

Finally, my other large commitment was to significantly upgrade the intersection on the Cleveland Wellington roundabout. The Shore Street roundabout is a real barnacle for many people, and we are hoping that the state government will not impede the federal commitment to see that roundabout improved.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Coulton ): It being 8 pm, the House stands adjourned until 9.30 am tomorrow.

House adjourned at 20:00