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Queensland traffic planning hits a hump -

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Queensland's auditor-general has found the current multi-billion dollar infrastructure spending
plan for Brisbane's transport system lack integration. The revelation hasn't gone down well with
either locals or visitors who find traffic in and around Brisbane is often frustrating.

PETER CAVE: Traffic in and around Brisbane is a mess and a constant frustration for locals and
visitors alike and now Queensland's auditor-general has found the current multi-billion dollar
infrastructure spending plans lack integration.

It comes just a fortnight after the auditor found that health planning is also poor.

Callers to talkback radio say simple solutions are being overlooked, but a demographer says the
problems won't deter the high rate of migration to the Sunshine State.

Annie Guest reports from Brisbane.

(sound of traffic horns)

ANNIE GUEST: This could be the noise Brisbane drivers would like to make, as many sit in traffic
for several hours a day.

There has been hope that the Queensland Government's multi-billion dollar infrastructure program
would fix the problems. But now there's a dampener on that optimism. The auditor-general has
criticised planning and co-ordination at the state level. His report tabled in Parliament says
there's been a lack of leadership, poor co-ordination between departments, and decisions have been
made based on old data.

The Public Works Minister Robert Schwarten has been out opening a bicycle facility today and he's
distanced himself from the criticism, but has not defended his colleagues.

ROBERT SCHWARTEN: I can answer for my portfolio and I can say without fear of contradiction that we
do coordinate across government very well and as I said you will have to ask the other ministers
what they have to say about that, that's a matter for the Premier.

ANNIE GUEST: There's been heavy migration to the Sunshine State, so problems with road congestion
have now been going on for years. It hasn't been enough to have the 11-year-old Government tipped
out, but callers to ABC Local Radio this morning said simple solutions are often overlooked.

CALLER: The express buses can't stop in bus ways because there's only two bays or so for the buses
that aren't express to pull in; so all the other buses wait and there would have been 20 or 30
buses and they all queue because some buses have to stop. And it's a basic design fault.

CALLER 2: I often get caught at a red arrow and there's actually no traffic coming towards me in
the opposite direction and often there's, you know, a line of traffic behind me.

CALLER 3: If you've got a good employee why can't you trust them to do the work from home? You've
got a massive relief on the traffic congestion in Brisbane.

ANNIE GUEST: The Government says it welcomes the report and it says co-operation between its
departments should now improve because it's amalgamated the transport and main roads agencies.
However the RACQ Spokesman Gary Fites is yet to be convinced.

GARY FITES: We think it is a step in the right direction but it's a very belated step and I think
it's too early to judge how well that would work. As for the billions spent I think the key
question there is how has it been spent what evaluations have been done on the various solutions
they've come up with?

ANNIE GUEST; Meanwhile Queensland continues to attract the most migrants of any state or territory.
It has slowed a bit, but last year there was a net gain of 30,000 people to Queensland's the
four-million plus population.

And the University of Queensland demographer, Professor Martin Bell says he can't see the source of
the traffic problems hitting a red light any time soon.

MARTIN BELL: I would expect to see those numbers continue to grow, south east Queensland is
attractive to young families, it's rarely been the retiree destination that people have it as a
stereotype. I think we're going to see continuing growth of lifestyle migration in to here, of
services and personal services and tourism related migration into this part of the world.

ANNIE GUEST: So sitting in traffic, sometimes for up to three hours a day is not enough to deter
people from wanting to come and live in south east Queensland?

MARTIN BELL: Personally I find it very deterring but the experience worldwide is that the net
effect is pretty small.

PETER CAVE: The University of Queensland's Professor Martin Bell, ending that report from Annie
Guest in Brisbane.