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GRACEVILLE train station will receive $900,000 for renovations after lobbying by Indooroopilly MP Scott Emerson.

Mr Emerson said since June he had repeatedly raised concerns that train stations in his electorate had missed out on funding for upgrades in this year’s State Budget.

“In my Budget Reply speech I had specifically mentioned the failure to allocate funds to train stations including Graceville,” Mr Emerson said.

“Since then I have consistently questioned the Transport Minister about where upgrades were occurring and why stations in my electorate had missed out.

“The State Government has now bowed to pressure and announced $900,000 will be allocated to Graceville train station under the State Government’s Rail Station Renovation program.”

Mr Emerson said he appreciated the community support for his campaign to improve train stations in his electorate.

“With local support, I will keep fighting to improve other stations including Taringa, Indooroopilly, Chelmer and Sherwood,” he said.

Work under the Rail Station Renovation program includes the installation of lifts, overhead bridges and construction of park 'n' rides, as well as new passenger information display screens, toilet upgrades, new seating, improved signage, accessibility upgrades, painting and landscaping.

THE Bligh government has been spying on commuters using train station park ‘n’ ride facilities to discover where they live, Indooroopilly MP Scott Emerson said.

Mr Emerson said Translink had secretly recorded more than 57,000 car licence plate numbers cars using the park ‘n’ ride sites over the last 18 months.

“Translink has then been using vehicle registration data from the Transport Department to discover the addresses of car owners,” Mr Emerson said.

“The Bligh government and Transport Minister Rachel Nolan need to explain why they have been secretly spying on commuters.

“Its actions also raise serious privacy issues about the protection, use and potential abuse of personal information of car owners.

“Not one of these 57,000 car owners voluntarily gave their details to Translink. Normally it would only be the police who could access this information. These commuters aren’t criminals.”

Mr Emerson said he would ask the Privacy Commissioner to investigate the government’s actions.

“Transport Minister Rachel Nolan has said the government is looking at “mechanisms to manage demand for parking” at park ‘n’ ride locations,” Mr Emerson said.

“Is this spying part of her yet-to-be-revealed plans to manage demand?

 “The Bligh government needs to show some honesty and tell commuters what it is planning.”

INDOOROOPILLY MP Scott Emerson has called on the Bligh government to reduce its plan to build 17 one-bedroom public housing units on a block on Oxley Road at Sherwood following community concerns.

  

“There are genuine concerns that there are too many units for the size of the block and that the entry and exit to the site is obscured and risks creating a traffic hazard and worsening delays and congestion on busy Oxley Road,” Mr Emerson said.

 

Mr Emerson said the 17 units proposed for the site at 575 Oxley Road would not be allowed under the current BCC planning rules or under the proposed changes to the neighbourhood plan currently being considered.

 

“A private developer had previously attempted to gain approval for 12 units on the site but was knocked back because the development was deemed to be excessive,” Mr Emerson said. 

 

“However, the State government doesn’t have to abide by local planning rules so it is able to build 17 units on the site.”

 

“To add insult to injury, the State government has only provided six parking spaces on the site for residents of the 17 units and any visitors.”

“While I appreciate the State government may not be legally required to do so, I believe such housing should meet local planning requirements.”

Mr Emerson said the entry/exit of the site was obscured by a railway bridge which made it exceptionally dangerous, especially on the notoriously busy Oxley Road.

“The difficulties in entering and exiting the site are also likely to further add to congestion and delays on Oxley Road,” Mr Emerson said.

“The provision of social housing is an important responsibility of State government however, it is also important that such housing is built with consideration of the local residents and any genuine concerns.”

Mr Emerson said he had written to the Minister for Community Services and Housing Karen Struthers and asked her to consider reducing the number of units being built on this site to better meet community and council expectation in the area and also lessen potential traffic hazards.

INDOOROOPILLY MP Scott Emerson has called on the ALP candidate for Ryan, Steven Miles, to stop the Rudd Government’s sell-off of an irreplaceable 7ha of riverside land at Long Pocket for development.

Mr Emerson said the land should be kept as green space and contributes to a world-class park after it is vacated by a CSIRO research facility next year.

Read more: Rudd to sell riverside land at Long Pocket as ALP candidate in Ryan abandons community

LNP candidate for Indooroopilly Scott Emerson says Fig Tree Pocket residents will be put at greater risk by a State Labor Government decision to move the Kenmore Fire Station to Pullenvale.

Mr Emerson said it will take at least another five minutes and possibly as many as 15 minutes for the tenders to get to a fire in Fig Tree Pocket once the station moves later this year to the new site on the corner of Moggill and Pullenvale Roads.

“Fire tenders will have no option but to take the notoriously congested Moggill Road if there is a fire in Fig Tree Pocket. If there is an accident on Moggill Road the delays to get to Fig Tree Pocket will be even worse.

“The Labor Government needs to explain to Fig Tree pocket residents why they will see a significant cut to their services which could costs lives in the event of a fire when every minute is crucial.”

Mr Emerson said the current site of the station at Kenmore was much closer to Fig Tree Pocket and, in the case of a traffic jam, there were a number of alternative routes for fire tenders to get to the suburb.

“This arrogant Labor Government has failed to consult with Fig Tree Pocket residents about a decision that will have a significant impact on their safety,” he said.

“It must explain why it has taken this decision and how it will maintain the levels of fire services to residents of Fig Tree Pocket if the move occurs.

“Instead, all we have is silence from Labor.”

LNP candidate for Indooroopilly Scott Emerson is demanding the State Government consult locals over its plans for a six hectare riverfront site at Sherwood currently occupied by a Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries research station.

Mr Emerson said the Labor Government had known for three years that the Alan Fletcher Research Station at Magazine St would be moving to the proposed Ecosciences Precinct at the old Boggo Rd jail site at Dutton Park.

“The State Government has shown complete contempt for Sherwood residents by failing to consult with locals or letting them know what is planned for this site when the Alan Fletcher Research Station moves in 2011 to Dutton Park,” Mr Emerson said.

“This is an extremely large site and locals need to be consulted rather than left in the dark. If the State Government sells it off, more than 100 house lots could fit on this site which would put enormous pressure on the local area and completely change its character.

“There needs to be genuine consultation over the future of this site with any proposals in line with the local neighbourhood plan and a commitment to the preservation of green space.

“Instead, all we have seen from the State Government is a glossy document announcing the fact that the research station is moving to Dutton Park but nothing about what will become of the Sherwood site.”
(see: http://203.210.126.185/dsdweb/v4/apps/web/secure/docs/2455.pdf)

Mr Emerson said current Indooroopilly MP Ronan Lee was a senior member of the State Government until late last year and should have been aware the Alan Fletcher Research Station was moving to Dutton Park and any plans for the site.

“Why has Mr Lee keep it secret and failed to ensure Sherwood residents knew what was being planned for the site?” Mr Emerson said. “Why hasn’t he ensured locals were consulted over the last three years?”

Mr Emerson said suggestions from locals for the Alan Fletcher site include community garden, parkland and canoe access.

The long awaited upgrade to the Indooroopilly rail station has been a $26 million exercise in poor planning, LNP candidate for Indooroopilly Scott Emerson said.

Mr Emerson said the upgrade failed to provide any additional park and ride facilities or better integrate rail with bus services.

"This upgrade was promised a decade ago and finally we are seeing it completed at a cost of $26 million," Mr Emerson said.

"But so much more could have been done."

"We are trying to encourage people to get out of their cars and use public transport but there is not one extra park and ride space."

"Either they will abandon the effort to use the train or continue to clog up nearby suburban streets parking their cars all day long."

"And the major bus interchange is at Indooroopilly Shoppingtown a fair hike away up Station Rd."

"Proper planning would have seen the rail and bus services integrated."

Mr Emerson said the LNP has promised 3000 additional park and ride spaces as part of its comprehensive policy to improve Brisbane rail services including easing peak-hour overcrowding.

"The Ipswich line which runs through the Indooroopilly electorate has the most overcrowded trains in Brisbane so it not surprising that the Labor Government has also failed when it comes to the upgrade of the Indooroopilly rail station," Mr Emerson said.

"If there is a better way of doing things, we should be doing it so we can have the Queensland we all want."