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Young people will be urged to stay at a mate’s house rather than driving home drunk in this year’s Join the Drive Christmas road safety campaign.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the campaign would especially target young men and continued the Newman LNP Government’s effort to keep the 2014 road toll at a record low.
“We’re working hard to make Queensland a safer place and I urge young people to take our Christmas message on board,” Mr Emerson said
“While attitudes towards drink-driving have changed for the better, the holiday season often leads to spontaneous and unplanned get-togethers.
“Our campaign encourages hosts to invite guests to stay over for the night after a party.
“If Queenslanders are out celebrating during this holiday season, it’s far better to stay at a mate’s place instead of driving home.
“It is a simple and fun solution to keep everyone safe over the Christmas holidays.”
The campaign will start next week and include's television, cinema, online, radio and billboard advertisements.
There will also be a website where users can create their own personalised Mates’ Motel sign for their place to be used on social media and even find breakfast recipes for their guests.  
Mr Emerson said the campaign follows the recently announced state-wide coalition on road safety, which includes 11 businesses which have pledged to support efforts to keep Queensland’s road toll at a record low.
Four ‘community coalitions’ in Emerald, Logan, Toowoomba and Townsville will be established to work at the grassroots level to come up with local solutions to local road safety issues in their area.
“Queenslanders tell us they want to be more involved in decisions about road safety and these community coalitions provide the perfect avenue to deliver on local issues,” Mr Emerson said.
The coalition is made up of Aurizon, APN, McDonald’s, QGC, Newscorp, RACQ, Suncorp, Super Retail Group, Telstra, TollNQX and Transurban, together with representatives from Queensland Police Service and Transport and Main Roads.
Join the Drive Program is part of the Queensland Government’s $350 million, two-year Road Safety Action Plan.

People who are blind or have low vision will travel more easily with greater independence through SEQ train stations following the launch of a new travel card.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said we have worked closely with peak disability advisory groups and their clients to prepare for the three-month trial of the go access Vision Impairment Travel Pass, which uses smartcard functionality.

“The State Government is committed to creating a public transport network that is accessible to all Queenslanders as part of our strong plan for a brighter future,” Mr Emerson said.

“The current flash pass carried by about 3,500 people doesn’t have smartcard functionality and can’t open the fare gates at train stations, requiring a Queensland Rail staff member to open the gates for them.

“From today, International Day of People with Disability, about 50 people will be trialling the new card, which uses smartcard technology to open fare gates, allowing them independent access through closed fare gates at stations, without the assistance of a staff member.

“While this might seem like a small change for many public transport users, this trial could make a huge difference to participants’ lives, and I’m eager to hear the results after the trial ends in March next year.”

Guide Dogs Queensland Rehabilitation Services Manager Bashir Ebrahim said the travel pass trial was an eagerly awaited step in providing equal access for vision impaired commuters.

“Guide Dogs Queensland has been advocating for a vision impaired traveller smartcard since the introduction of the go card system in 2008,” Mr Ebrahim said.

“It’s great to see the steps the Queensland Government is now taking to make this smartcard a reality and provide the same level of independence for all travellers on the network.”

Vision Australia General Manager for Queensland and Northern Territory Karen Knight said that the trial was another step in the right direction for improving the travel experience for public transport users who are blind or have low vision.

“Being able to control when you can enter or exit a train station without assistance helps the blind and low vision community retain their independence, and encourages greater public transport use,” Ms Knight said.

Trial participant and Vision Australia client Sarah Boulton said the pass would allow her to travel on the train network with more freedom.

“Queensland Rail staff do a great job of assisting me during my journey, including opening the fare gate; however, at peak commuting times, they may be busy or helping other commuters, meaning I have to wait until an attendant becomes available,” Ms Boulton said.

“With the new trial pass, I will no longer have to wait for someone to open the gate and I can continue on my journey uninterrupted.”

Brisbane’s much-maligned Transit Centre is to be demolished and completely rebuilt as part of a huge CBD infrastructure development to meet the city’s future transport needs.

The proposed underground Roma St Station for the Bus and Train (BaT) tunnel will now be constructed beneath the rebuilt Transit Centre – instead of next to Roma St Parklands.

Premier Campbell Newman said the revised plan would deliver better bus and train services for families, create construction jobs and make Brisbane a more attractive city.

“Realigning the BaT tunnel after listening to local people has given us a great opportunity to build a new, modern Transit Centre,” Mr Newman said.

“We’re seizing that opportunity to create a major public transport hub in Roma St that will make travel easier for bus and train passengers.

“The BaT project was already set to create 1600 construction jobs and now the redevelopment of the Transit Centre will create further jobs and economic opportunities for Queenslanders.

“This exciting project proves that only the LNP Government has a strong plan to build better infrastructure and create jobs for Queensland families.”

Minister for Transport Scott Emerson said families would be glad to see the Transit Centre demolished.

“The Transit Centre is frequently voted one of Brisbane’s ugliest buildings, but now we have the chance to build an iconic gateway to this city,” Mr Emerson said.

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the turnaround facility on Gilchrist Avenue and separate on-ramp connection to the westbound lane of the Inner City Bypass would remain as part of the revised design.

The proposed BaT tunnel was realigned following more than 560 public submissions. A revised reference design assessment report is available for public comment until Friday, 19 December.

The revised BaT tunnel will be 4km long and run from Dutton Park in the south to Spring Hill in the north, with three new underground stations at Woolloongabba, George St and Roma St.

The tunnel, which is due to open in 2021, will double rail and bus capacity across the Brisbane River, allowing faster, more frequent, more direct and more reliable travel across the south east.

Mr Emerson said the Department of Transport and Main Roads will work with coach operators to investigate temporary relocation options for the long-distance bus facility, while access to Roma Street Station for rail passengers will be maintained via a temporary access point.

To view the revised route and have your say, go to www.qld.gov.au/batproject.

Brisbane residents will enjoy safer nights out in the Christmas party season with more bus services and pick up points being made available in the CBD and Fortitude Valley.

Transport Minister Scott Emerson said 426 additional NightLink bus services will operate from December 5 to December 21 – doubling their frequency and making it easier and safer for passengers to get home after a night out.

“These extra late-night bus services are part of our strong plan to make Queensland the safest place to live, work and raise a family,” Mr Emerson said.

“At this time of year, more and more people are out celebrating the end of the year with friends, family and colleagues and these extra services will mean more transport options for passengers.

“We want Queenslanders to have a good time – and then get home quickly and safely.”

NightLink services will also expand into new areas such as Jindalee, Riverhills and Red Hill and further extend into existing suburbs such as Mt Ommaney, Ashgrove and St Lucia.

Mr Emerson said the extra services will run every weekend from December 5 until the last service on Sunday, December 21.

“NightLink services currently depart every hour from around 12am until 5am, but will increase frequency to every 30 minutes during the festive season,” Mr Emerson said.

“We’re also making permanent improvements that will mean passengers can get off and on at any designated bus stop the NightLink service passes.”

Mr Emerson said these changes follow two new late-night bus services launched last month that area already proving popular for passengers.

“Only the LNP is delivering more transport choice for passengers travelling at night after Labor failed to increase the NightLink network at all during the last eight years of their government,” Mr Emerson said.

The extra public transport services will be delivered through the Newman LNP Government’s Safe Night Out Strategy, which aims to reduce alcohol and drug-related violence in designated entertainment precincts.

Due to the changes, some bus routes will be renumbered. For more information please visit translink.com.au or call 13 12 30.

A new flood-proofed road will be officially opened in Townsville tomorrow – ahead of the storm season and significantly under budget.

The upgrade of Blakey’s Crossing was one of the Newman LNP Government’s election commitments and today Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson joined the city’s three MPs to inspect the completed project.

“Our strong plan for Townsville is delivering better infrastructure and boosting the local economy into the bargain,” Mr Emerson said.

“This upgrade has provided work for 350 people and will ensure Ingham Road at Blakey’s Crossing will no longer close during summer floods, remaining open to local motorists and businesses.”

Member for Mundingburra David Crisafulli said the upgrade had realigned and raised about 800m of road and included two new bridges.

“This is a milestone moment for Townsville motorists, who for too long have been forced to deal with a neglected road network that left them stranded every wet season,” Mr Crisafulli said.

“We know we can’t flood-proof the state, but we are investing in infrastructure that secures vital transport and access routes and supports our regional economy.”

Townsville City Council infrastructure chairman Trevor Roberts said the council’s project management team and contractor BMD Constructions had delivered an accelerated construction program to have the crossing open ahead of the original February 2015 deadline.

“Our key objective was to get the crossing open to motorists before the onset of the wet season and the project team has done a fantastic job to get it over the line,” Cr Roberts said.

“The decision to close the crossing to all traffic back in April enabled crews to build the bridges and embankment with fewer disruptions and get the job done sooner for the local community.”

Member for Townsville John Hathaway said the project had been expected to cost $24 million, but careful management had enabled $5 million of savings to be made.

“The savings made have been earmarked to fast-track the upgrade of the crossing over the Bohle River on Dalrymple Road, which is a great result for Townsville,” Mr Hathaway said.

A section of Mather Street will close until December 22 while the intersection with Ingham Road is widened, with detours in place via Woolcock Street. Night works at the Duckworth Street/Ingham Road intersection are expected to continue until Monday.

Member for Thuringowa Sam Cox said it was great the project’s savings would stay in Townsville.

“The Bohle River Bridge is our next top priority road project and I’m delighted the savings from Blakey’s are being spent in this community,” Mr Cox said.

To date more than 39 regional councils have received more than $305 million through Royalties for the Regions for road upgrades, community infrastructure and flood mitigation projects.

For more information visit http://www.qld.gov.au/royalties

Blakey’s Crossing Project statistics

  • The project has provided around 350 jobs over the duration of the project.
  • Its total length is 1050m, plus intersection work and the service road at the Duckworth St end.
  • Approximately 75,000 tonnes of material was imported and used in the construction of embankments.
  • Two bridges have been constructed; the three-span, 60m bridge over Peewee Creek and the seven-span, 140m long bridge over Louisa Creek.
  • A total of 80 piles have been driven for the two bridges at depths of 20-25m.
  • A total of 170 15-20 tonnes concrete deck units were used for the two bridges.

About 350 people are now employed on the construction of a new maintenance centre at Wulkuraka to service South East Queensland’s next generation of trains – and there’s more work on the way.

Transport Minister Scott Emerson and Member for Ipswich West Sean Choat said the workforce would soon hit 514, delivering on the Newman LNP Government’s pledge to boost job opportunities.

“We are working hard every day to create jobs as part of our strong plan to give Ipswich a brighter future,” Mr Emerson said.

“This project is now employing hundreds of people and, once complete, will provide 150 full-time ongoing positions.

“The project will also provide more than 1,500 indirect opportunities for contractors and other businesses, creating even more jobs for the Ipswich region.”

Construction is nearing the halfway mark, with more than 300 tonnes of steel installed at the site, almost five kilometres of pipework laid and the structural frame of the centre due to be completed next month.

The New Generation Rollingstock project includes purchasing 75 new six-car trains, maintenance of the trains for 30 years, and construction of the purpose-built maintenance centre at Wulkuraka.

“Not only are we creating more jobs and delivering better trains, we will save more than $11 million per train compared to the previous deal done by Labor,” Mr Emerson said.

Mr Choat said the facility would provide Ipswich with jobs for generations to come.

“The largest single public transport investment in Queensland’s history is happening in Ipswich and the community is starting to feel the economic benefit,” Mr Choat said.

“This project is putting Ipswich back at the centre of Queensland’s rail industry and creating local jobs, with more than 75 per cent of construction contracts going to south-east Queensland firms.

“We know there is more work to be done to grow the economy, and that’s why we will keep working hard to build a four pillar economy that delivers more jobs and better services for Queenslanders.”

Bombardier Transportation project director Paul Brown said construction of the maintenance centre was progressing smoothly, with more than 250,000 man hours completed on site to date.

“The first of more than eight kilometres of rail line is now commencing on site, which will enable the new trains to access the centre from the existing rail line at Wulkuraka station,” Mr Brown said.

ANOTHER milestone has been reached on the Gateway Upgrade North project with tenderers shortlisted for the motorway upgrade.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said three tenderers will now progress to the final stages for the $1billion-plus project.

“Following a strong industry response to the Registration of Interest phase, we are pleased to announce Leighton Contractors, Lend Lease and NorthLink Joint Venture have been shortlisted,” Mr Truss said.

“What will now follow is a competitive and interactive evaluation process, which will lead to the selection of the successful tenderer by mid-2015.

“This tendering process has been designed to ensure the best value for money and the most innovative solutions for the upgrade, which will involve widening 11.3 kilometres of motorway from four to six lanes between Nudgee and Bracken Ridge.
“Works will also include upgrading the Nudgee Interchange and widening the Deagon Deviation to two lanes in each direction.”

Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Scott Emerson said the project was moving forward with early works already underway as part of the LNP Government’s strong plan to deliver better infrastructure.

“This project will improve the safety and travel times for motorists, but will also improve freight efficiency along the National Network,” Mr Emerson said.

“The early works package, currently being undertaken by Fulton Hogan, is preparing the ground for the full upgrade.

“We are pleased with progress on the earthworks and drainage upgrades beside the existing Gateway Motorway, which are on schedule for completion mid-next year, weather permitting.”

Transurban Queensland has been engaged to manage the delivery of the major works package for the project on behalf of the Queensland Government.
The Australian Government has committed $929.6 million to the Gateway Upgrade North project, in partnership with the Queensland Government which has committed $232.4 million.

Tolls will be free for all motorists travelling on the Go Between Bridge and Gateway Bridges during the G20 Summit weekend.
Premier Campbell Newman and Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said providing free tolls will help motorists get in and around the city during the summit.
“The G20 is attracting world leaders, 4000 delegates and 3000 media, and Queenslanders should also enjoy this international spectacle,” Mr Newman said.
“The G20 will provide about $100 million worth of direct economic benefits for Brisbane, however we acknowledge there will also be some disruptions which is why we decided to waive the tolls on these bridges.
“Saturday will see the largest number of motorcade and vehicle movements occur and providing free tolls on these key bridges will help the travelling public get to where they need to go.”
Mr Emerson said waiving the tolls would provide even more options for Queenslanders to enjoy the G20 celebrations and help minimise disruptions for those travelling around the CBD.
“From Friday 14 November to midnight Sunday 16 November motorists will travel free on the Go Between Bridge,” Mr Emerson said.
“We are also funding free tolls on the Sir Leo Hielscher Bridges (Gateway) on Saturday 15 November from 6.00am to midnight.
“Making the Gateway Bridges toll free on the Saturday will provide a free river crossing for those travelling between the north and south of the city and help reduce the inconvenience for motorists.”
The Australian Government will fund the suspension period for the Go Between Bridge and the State Government will fund the Sir Leo Hielscher Bridges (Gateway) at a total cost of $523,000.
For all information about G20 transport changes and road closures visit g20.org.au

 

Catching a bus from Browns Plains Bus Station will soon be a lot more comfortable and convenient for passengers thanks to a $10.2 million upgrade funded by the LNP Government.

Member for Logan Michael Pucci and Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson today unveiled the improved station, which is one of the busiest in the state’s south-east.

As well as new seating, lighting and security cameras, the revamp has also provided the station with improved shelters for passengers – who are now more protected from rain or shine.

“Logan is a growing city and that is why delivering better infrastructure for its residents is a priority for this government,” Mr Pucci said.

“The new station is safer and more comfortable for passengers and shows our strong plan is delivering a brighter future for the people of this electorate.”

Mr Pucci said the station’s layout had been altered to ensure more efficient bus operations.

“Buses will now be able to take a more direct route through Grand Plaza Shopping Centre, ensuring more efficiency and reliability for passengers,” Mr Pucci said.

The upgrade also includes new indented bus stops on Browns Plains Road, a passenger drop-off area, bicycle storage facilities and new amenities for bus drivers.

Mr Emerson said Browns Plains bus passengers were also enjoying cheaper travel, with the Newman Government’s five per cent fare reduction implemented today. 

“We’re delivering real cost of living relief for passengers by re-investing the $30 million we saved from the scrapped carbon tax in lower fares,” Mr Emerson said.

“Passengers who use this new station to travel into the Brisbane CBD will save more than $700 a year on what they would have paid under Labor.”

Mr Pucci said Clark’s Logan City and Park Ridge Transit buses would start using the refurbished station from Monday, 10 November.

Brisbane Transport buses will continue to service new stops on nearby Browns Plains Road.

For more information on bus services visit www.translink.com.au or phone 13 12 30.

 

Passengers across Queensland will pay less for public transport from today, as the Queensland Government’s five per cent reduction to fares comes into effect.

Premier Campbell Newman and Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the $30 million savings from the scrapped carbon tax had been re-invested to reduce the cost of public transport, as a direct result of feedback from Queenslanders.

“We promised to deliver cost of living relief for passengers as part of our strong plan to get more people back on to public transport,” Mr Newman said.

“Under a Can-Do LNP Government, families are today paying less for public transport giving them more money in their pocket to spend on what really matters.

“The savings are significant and, when added up over a whole year, could buy the family groceries for several weeks or buy a month’s worth of petrol for the family car.”

Mr Newman said a regular weekday customer travelling to work from the Gold Coast to Brisbane over 16 zones would now save up to $297 per year.

A passenger travelling a two zone trip (from Enoggera, Indooroopilly and Newstead to the Brisbane CBD or a Gold Coast light rail trip) now saved $83.16 per year.

In regional Queensland, for example, a regular weekday passenger travelling three zones in Townsville saved up to $132 a year.

Mr Emerson said that the LNP promised to tackle affordability and it was a privilege to be part of a Government delivering cheaper fares.

“Only under a Can-Do LNP Government have passengers been delivered a Queensland-first, state-wide public transport fare reduction,” Mr Emerson said.

“The cost of living relief will continue and be even greater next year with no increase planned in 2015.

“The former Labor government’s public transport record consisted of slugging passengers with 52 per cent fare increases over three years and record low rail reliability.

“Now though, a regular weekly passenger will be paying less than what they would have been under Labor.

“In stark contrast, the LNP has a plan to improve frequency, reliability and affordability of the network building on our already strong record, which shows passengers are choosing public transport.”

Mr Emerson said this Government was serious about getting public transport on track for the people of Queensland.

“We have added 3,000 additional bus and train services a week, we are the most reliable metro rail network in Australia and will be delivering real-time information for customers across the TransLink network in South East Queensland,” he said.