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Thursday, 29 November 2018
Page: 12118

Mr HOWARTH (Petrie) (12:01): Today I rise in frustration about the growing commute time for those travelling over the Linkfield Road overpass in Bald Hills. I want to thank the thousands of locals who signed my petition in support of calling on the state Labor government to upgrade the overpass to four lanes. In February this year, I wrote to the Queensland state government Minister for Transport and Main Roads, the Hon. Mark Bailey MP, calling on him to make it a priority. I said:

Dear Minister

I am writing to outline my concerns regarding Linkfield Road Overpass, Bald Hills and would appreciate your Government's serious consideration on funding this vital upgrade.

I was very disappointed when I read the Department of Transport and Main Roads Investment Program 2017-18 to 2020-21 and realised the only funding allocated on Linkfield Road was $45,000 to construct auxiliary lane/s.

It needs more like $120 million. My letter continued:

With major upgrades to Telegraph Road and Linkfield Road over the past few years the bottleneck has continued to worsen with cars merging from four to two lanes to cross the Overpass.

Locals have raised their concerns with me about the constant congestion and safety of this road.

I would be grateful if you could give serious consideration to urgent upgrading of the Linkfield Road Overpass and I look forward to your positive response. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require further information.

That's what I wrote to the minister back in February this year. To this date, I still haven't heard a thing and, quite frankly, we need to address this issue. Locals deserve answers and surety. Local Adrian Prince from Fitzgibbon said, 'It's time to get it done.' Greg Short from Deception Bay said, 'This needed to happen years ago.' I imagine that Greg uses that road with work, because it's a fair way from him. Thankfully, though—just for Greg, while I'm here—we are upgrading the Deception Bay overpass. This will start in June next year. I secured $120 million in federal funding for that in last year's budget. That's on the Bruce Highway, where the federal government has a key responsibility. The Linkfield Road overpass is down in Brisbane on Gympie Road, which is all state roads. And, Ken Raymond, you hit the nail on the head:

… the Linkfield Road Overpass is the sole cause of the bottleneck that obstructs east/west bound traffic travelling through Bracken Ridge, Bald Hills and Carseldine. It remains a typical example of Queensland State Labor governments and their total lack of vision, planning and future proofing—

in those outer northern, Brisbane metropolitan, and Moreton Bay areas.

We've also got funding for the on- and off-ramps at Griffin on the Bruce Highway. We secured $120 million for that, that's 80 per cent of the funding, and we need the state government to throw another 20 per cent in, another $30 million. We've heard nothing from the local member for Murrumba or the government on that either. Locals deserve a long-term solution. So far they have received nothing, and the Queensland government has not allocated any funding. I say to the people in my electorate: it's not good enough, and I'll continue to fight. The state government need to find a solution and they need to find it now.

Since being elected in 2013, I've fought hard to tackle crippling congestion in my federal seat of Petrie. I have delivered funding for the Boundary Road overpass, $100 million for that, and that is now completely built. I can thank the state Labor member in that area for throwing in the 20 per cent. He was happy to work with me on that, which I was glad about. We've also got the Deception Bay Road overpass, as I said, which starts next year and it'll be a duplicate of Boundary Road overpass—for those people that live up that way, they'll know exactly what that means. We've got Telegraph Road, which we've just upgraded, in Bracken Ridge. That was a joint funding initiative with the Brisbane City Council, and I want to thank Councillor Amanda Cooper down there for working with me on that. We have also got the Rothwell roundabout upgraded: that's now a beautiful new intersection. It's helping traffic flow and it's working really well. We have $120 million for the Griffin on- and off-ramps for the Bruce Highway, as I mentioned before. And the Gateway Motorway, of which the federal government has funded 80 per cent and the Queensland government 20 per cent, will open before Christmas—that's what I've been told by Transport and Main Roads. That's really important.

I want to thank those people that have written to me on this subject. I will continue to fight my best, and we'll continue to make sure that we have a strong economy at the federal level to pay for this infrastructure.

Question agreed to.

Federation Chamber adjourned at 12:07