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TMR Media Releases

The Queensland Government is demanding Labor withdraw its support for the botched Cross River Rail project that would have resulted in 108 properties being demolished and communities being destroyed.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said while the LNP government has a strong plan for a brighter future with no property resumptions, Labor has no plan other than to bring back a project that destroys local communities.

“The Labor Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk wants the government to deliver their failed unfunded Cross River Rail Project,” Mr Emerson said.

“The fact is support for Cross River Rail means support for destroying more than 100 homes and businesses.

“Labor need to stand up today and rule out its support of a project that has a devastating impact to communities, like Yeerongpilly, particularly when there is a much better alternative.

“Unlike Labor’s Cross River Rail project, the BaT Tunnel fixes capacity issues for both buses and trains, costs $3 billion less, and homes and businesses will not be resumed.”

Mr Emerson said work has begun to revitalise areas such as Yeerongpilly that were left devastated by the former Labor government.

“When she was Transport Minister, Ms Palaszczuk spent $32 million of taxpayer money purchasing up to 65 properties, which Labor planned to raze, on a project it knew it could never afford,” Mr Emerson said.

“The Opposition Leader already had to apologise to parliament after falsely claiming the Cross River Rail project was fully costed. Now she should rule out the community-destroying plan completely.

“We have already sold seven properties, purchased under Labor’s bungled Cross River Rail project, with another four under contract.

“Unlike Labor, we are working hard to restore this community for residents and local businesses.

“While we have already started returning properties to market, we need to ensure we re-establish a community, rather than flood the market.”

Out of the 108 sites that were going to be resumed, 82 were in the Yeerongpilly area, making it the most impacted suburb.

Passengers will continue to access the Hinterland Connect bus service between Maleny and Nambour for a further 12 months following a deal struck between the Queensland Government and Council.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the Sunshine Coast Regional Council had agreed to jointly fund the trial service until mid-2015.  

“As part of our strong plan for a brighter future we have secured this local public transport service following strong representation from the Member for Glass House Andrew Powell and the community,” Mr Emerson said.

“The trial will continue to be a weekday-only service however it will still need to meet the same KPI’s previously agreed with council.

“Passengers will continue to be able to signal the driver between scheduled stops and board or depart the bus in safe spots along the route.”

Member for Glass House Andrew Powell said we would also implement minor timetable changes to encourage more passengers to use the service.

“In the coming weeks we will implement changes to the timetable based on feedback from the community,” Mr Powell said.

“We hope these changes will further drive passengers to make use of this service.

“The Maleny to Nambour route is the only service that connects Hinterland towns, including Maleny, Montville, Flaxton and Mapleton, and provides a vital link for the community.”

Sunshine Coast Council Transport Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski said the council was pleased to support the State Government’s extension to the modified trial.

“We urge hinterland residents to use the improved Hinterland Connect so the State Government can make it a permanent service at the end of the trial period,” Cr Baberowski said.

Division 5 councillor Jenny McKay said the trial extension was a great outcome for the Sunshine Coast hinterland community.

"I have worked hard to have this service continued and the community has worked hard as well," Cr McKay said. 

"I am so confident, now that the Minister has broadened the terms to enable the change of schedule, this will become one of the most highly-used transport services in the region."

Dutton Park train station will remain open and families will continue to use and enjoy Victoria Park under the refined BaT project design released today.

Premier Campbell Newman said the design changes answer concerns raised by the community as part of an extensive five-week consultation exercise.

“We are a government that listens and the design changes reflect feedback from the community while still delivering a world-class public transport solution,” Mr Newman said.

“We’re delivering better infrastructure and better planning for Queenslanders, ensuring that mums and dads spend less time travelling and more time with their kids.”

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said engineers have changed the design so the length of the tunnel to the existing tracks can be shorter and slightly steeper, which means Dutton Park train station can remain open without any surface property resumptions.

“Further changes to the design at the northern end of the tunnel will mean the majority of the project infrastructure will be contained within the existing transport corridor, preserving Victoria Park,” Mr Emerson said.

“This is in stark contrast to Labor’s earlier plan which would have seen more than 100 homes and businesses resumed.

“The $5 billion BaT project is a key part of our strong plan to deliver a brighter future for Queensland.

“Once BaT is operational, passengers will get to the city faster with only a six-minute train trip from Dutton Park train station into the CBD’s new underground George Street Station.”

Member for Brisbane Central Robert Cavallucci welcomed the changes to the Victoria Park end of the project.

“This is a fantastic outcome for Spring Hill residents, as access for local families, pedestrians and cyclists will be maintained throughout Victoria Park,” he said.

“After working extensively with local residents, I am pleased as a government we have not only listened we have delivered better outcomes for the local community.”

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the 5 kilometre north-south tunnel with new underground stations at Woolloongabba, George Street and Roma Street would also provide a key link for buses using the new Legacy Way tunnel via a connection near Victoria Park.

“This project is a great example of different levels of government working together to address the city’s public transport capacity issues,” Cr Quirk said.

“It will double the capacity of the rail and bus networks, take pressure off existing infrastructure and make way for future growth.”

The community will have the opportunity to provide comment on the design enhancements following the release of the Environmental Impact Statement and the Final Reference Design expected in the second half of the year.

The BaT tunnel will run from Dutton Park in the south to Victoria Park at Spring Hill in the north. It includes three new underground stations at Woolloongabba, George Street and Roma Street.

The project is due to be completed in 2020 and operational in 2021.

Passengers with mobility issues will find it easier to access public transport following the Queensland Government’s recent installation of new disabled parking bays at Nambour train station.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said better access for passengers with a disability delivered on the Government’s election promise to revitalise frontline services.

“We have listened to feedback from the community and have changed the four existing car parks on Mill Street into two disabled car parking bays,” Mr Emerson said.

“This will make rail travel and access to Nambour station much easier for drivers with a disability, separated by a shared zone with no time limit.

“It’s part of the Queensland Government’s strong plan to improve public transport, creating a brighter future for passengers.

“Improved disability access at Nambour station is just another example of how the Queensland Government is delivering on its promise to deliver better infrastructure and revitalise front line services.

“Labor’s only plan for public transport was to increase fares by 15 per cent a year, but we are improving affordability, reliability, frequency and now access where it is needed.”

Mr Emerson said the additional disability parking followed an announcement last year to boost parking at this station.

“Initial work on the car spaces is already underway and is scheduled to be finished later this year,” he said.

“The extra car spaces, additional disability parking, signage and line marking will be a massive boost for passengers and residents accessing this station.”

Two current long-term parking bays in the Price Street car park will be converted to short term parking as a result of changes to improve access to passengers with a disability.

Queensland families will benefit from safer roads and more consistent speed limits as part of the first wave of results from the state-wide speed limit review announced late last year.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the review forms part of our strong plan to drive down the road toll through the $350 million Road Safety Action Plan and create a brighter, safer future on Queensland roads.

“Whether you are dropping kids to school, travelling on holidays or driving home from work, it is frustrating and unsafe when the speed limit constantly changes up and down on one stretch of road,” Mr Emerson said.

“These changes will improve safety and ensure better consistency of speed limits across Queensland roads.

“They also deliver on our election promises to provide better infrastructure and planning and revitalise frontline services.

“Out of the 100 roads shortlisted from community feedback, results from the first 20 roads reveal 11 roads will remain the same speed limit, six will increase and three will decrease.

After more than 3300 submissions, some changes include:

  • Increasing the speed limit on sections of Williamson Road and Greensward Road in Tamborine from 60km/h to 70km/h.
  • Reducing the 80km/h zone on Olsen Avenue between Smith Street and Southport-Nerang Road to 70km/h, creating one speed zone through this entire section.
  • Reducing the Scenic Highway between Yeppoon and Emu Park Road to 60km/h, ensuring a safer drive on this hilly terrain.

“The community feedback revealed there were also too many changes to speed zones on the D'Aguilar Highway between Moore and Benarkin, so speed zones will be reduced from five to three on this stretch.”

Mr Emerson said that following advice from the safety experts, speed limits on a number of roads will remain the same.

“There will be no changes to speed limits on the Bruce Highway from Glenlee to the Caves, Leichhardt Highway from Gore Highway to Moonie and Samford Road from England Road to Main Street,” he said.

“Each road has been reviewed by engineers and police, in line with Queensland’s speed limit guidelines, with consideration given to traffic, pedestrians and surrounding infrastructure.

“Unlike Labor, we have a plan to improve the safety of our roads and, through our $350 million Road Safety Action Plan and with the help of police, our road toll is at a record low.”

Mr Emerson reminded motorists that existing speed limits apply until signs have changed.

The results for the remaining 80 roads will be released over the coming months.

For more information visit www.tmr.qld.gov.au/speedlimitreview.

Travelling families, Central Queensland residents and freight operators will finally be able to drive on the Mount Morgan Range, 513 days after it sustained cyclone damage.

Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd said the range will be open on Sunday, 22 June, following the completion of the $21.7 million reconstruction project.

“The range was severely damaged following ex-tropical Cyclone Oswald in January 2013, with 35 landslips occurring along its length,” Mr O’Dowd said.

“Rebuilding the road was a challenging task, but a very important one, because people living in regional Australia deserve quality roads that are safe and comfortable to travel on.”

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson joined Member for Keppel Bruce Young to inspect the final touches at Mount Morgan today. 

“After inspecting the damage in 2013, I promised we would get on with the job to fix this vital link,” Mr Emerson said.

“We have a strong plan for a brighter future and major reconstruction projects like these are part of that plan.

“After nearly 18 months, I am pleased the Mount Morgan Range is open again providing a major alternative for bussing kids to school or as a key freight route.”

Mr Young said the damage was severe and commended the hard-working engineers and Transport and Main Roads crews for their enormous effort.

“More than 70,000 tonnes of stabilising rock and materials have been used to secure this key route that carries about 3000 vehicles per day,” Mr Young said.

Member for Mirani Ted Malone also welcomed the completion of works.

“In addition to the reconstruction works, complementary funding has seen the full length of the range crossing has been resurfaced, and an additional guardrail has been installed to improve safety,” Mr Malone said.

Eligible reconstruction works on this project will be funded under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements. Under these arrangements, the Australian Government provides up to 75 per cent of the funding, with 25 per cent from the Queensland Government.

Motorists on Brisbane’s northside will experience a safer journey as the two major Open Level Crossing Replacement Projects remain on track for full completion in coming months, well ahead of schedule.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson joined Lord Mayor Graham Quirk and Member for Nudgee Jason Woodforth to inspect recent works on the pedestrian overpass bridge at Geebung.

“These road projects will make it quicker and safer for motorists to get to work in the morning and home again at the end of the day,” Mr Emerson said.

“The jointly funded $199 million Geebung project and the $82 million Bracken Ridge project will provide improved infrastructure for Queensland, continuing the government’s promise to deliver a strong plan for a brighter future.

“Both these open level crossings are notorious sites and already these projects are making vast improvements to congestion and road safety on the north side.”

Cr Quirk said Council’s commitment to delivering the improvements will see the Geebung project open three months ahead of schedule in August, with the Bracken Ridge project to open one month ahead of schedule in October.

“Council prioritised the delivery of these important open level crossing overpass bridges to bring vital safety improvements and congestion relief to motorists,” Cr Quirk said.

“The Robinson Road open level crossing replacement project has reached a milestone, with works for pedestrian and cyclist access to the station and across the rail corridor now underway,” Cr Quirk said.


“Final resurfacing works are underway on Robinson Road West, Railway Parade and Newman Road, and streetscape rehabilitation works are being carried out in the Geebung retail precinct.”

Final works to relocate and reinstate the existing passenger car park at Geebung Rail Station should also be completed in coming months.


Mr Woodforth thanked residents for their patience during the final months to complete the works.

“Since it opened in March, the four-lane road-over-rail overpass has significantly enhanced traffic flow along Robinson Road, one of the few east-west arterial connections between Gympie Road and Sandgate Road.”


Cr Quirk said works on the $82 million Telegraph Road Open Level Crossing Replacement Project in Bracken Ridge were also well underway.

“The Telegraph Road project reached an important milestone on Sunday 25 May, when the southern lanes of the road overpass opened to traffic,” Cr Quirk said.

“Works on the northern lanes are underway with the project scheduled to open all four lanes to traffic in October.”

Both projects are being jointly funded by Council and the Queensland Government with the GO Alliance delivering the Geebung Project and the Bracken Ridge project being constructed by Bielby Hull Joint Venture.

ALMOST 200 contractors, operators and financiers will be in Toowoomba today for an industry briefing on the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing project.

Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss joined Minister for Industry and Member for Groom Ian Macfarlane and Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson to address industry about this key infrastructure project.

“The recent Federal Budget confirmed a contribution of up to $1.285 billion in funding, cementing the 80:20 funding arrangement between the Commonwealth and the Queensland Governments for this vital project,” Mr Truss said

“We are looking for value for money to deliver a world-class Public Private Partnership asset as part of our strong plan for a brighter future.”

Mr Macfarlane said: “Today’s briefing follows the release of the expression of interest on 4 June, which officially opened the project to the market.

“The industry briefing is an opportunity for bidders to ask questions and receive a presentation on the project’s requirements.”

Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the state was looking to the private sector for innovation on the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing.

“This project was one of the Queensland Government’s key infrastructure promises at the election and we are delivering,” Mr Emerson said.

“We are delighted to be working with the private sector to deliver the second range crossing and it is an added bonus to hold the industry briefing in Toowoomba.

“The industry briefing forms part of the expression of interest (EOI) process, which would result in a selection of shortlisted proponents, to be invited to the next stage of procurement.”

Expressions of Interest will close 9 July, with shortlisted proponents to be notified in August. Further information about the project is available at www.qld.gov.au/tsrc.

Families and fun-goers heading to the Ekka will again benefit from discounted travel tickets for the third year in a row providing cheaper travel and less waiting at the station.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the Queensland Government had frozen travel costs allowing adults to get to and from the Ekka for just $6 and concessions pay only $3.

“Unlike the previous Labor government we are providing real cost of living savings making it cheaper and easier for families to get to the Ekka,” Mr Emerson said.

“It’s part of our strong plan for public transport which is creating a brighter future for Queensland.

“More people are choosing public transport under our policy with more than 280,000 trips taken last year, a 50 per cent increase compared to Labor’s record in 2011 of 196,000.

“Under our plan last year we saw a 70 per cent reduction in the number of people waiting in line at the Exhibition station compared to the chaotic situation under Labor in 2011.

“Our Ekka travel ticket has fixed another Labor bungle when it removed the option to purchase a daily ticket to the show leading to long queues of families waiting more than 30 minutes trying to get home weighed down with show bags and tired children.                                                      

“We are making it cheaper and easier to get to the Ekka and will again have dedicated train and bus shuttles scheduled in addition to normal public transport services.”

RNA Chief Executive Brendan Christou said the $6 and $3 Ekka travel ticket offer was a great initiative and would be appreciated by families travelling to the show.

“The Ekka is the state’s biggest and most loved event and families can now plan their trip to the show knowing the costs involved and the incredible savings on offer,’’ he said.

“The best way to travel to the show is by public transport as it offers a stress free journey and ensures people are dropped off in the heart of the action at the showgrounds.

“We are encouraging the public to take advantage of the Ekka travel ticket and thank the Queensland Government for introducing such great value fares for families.”

 The Ekka travel tickets can be purchased from Monday 28 July. They are available from any attended Queensland Rail train station, or on board any TransLink bus or ferry on the day of travel, by presenting a valid Ekka entry ticket.

Customers should visit www.ekka.com.au for details about further discounts on entry prices.

Record numbers of bus, train and ferry passengers are taking advantage of the Queensland Government’s free travel after nine weekly journeys.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said since the policy was introduced almost two years ago about 78,500 people a week were benefiting.

“As part of our strong plan for a brighter future we are delivering real savings for passengers with more than 7.1 million free journeys taken since June 2012,” Mr Emerson said.

“Many of these trips would not have been taken without the incentive of free travel with the policy encouraging passengers to choose to get out of their cars and on to public transport.

“Under our policy a passenger using their go card travelling to and from work five days a week can travel home for free on Friday and then enjoy free travel all weekend.

“This is on top our efforts to end Labor's annual 15 per cent fare hikes by capping fares rises for the next three years to be below the inflation rate.

“Under our policy a regular passenger travelling two zones to and from work will save around $750 per year, and anyone travelling from the Sunshine Coast or Gold Coast will save up to $2500 each year, compared to go card prices under Labor.”

Mr Emerson said while the LNP has a plan to improve affordability, passengers should be concerned about Labor’s plans to hit public transport users with higher fares.

“Despite the current Opposition Leader supporting the free travel initiative, the Member for South Brisbane and Shadow Transport Minister wants it scrapped,” he said.

“That would be another 10 per cent hike for regular passengers, showing Labor has no plan and no policies for public transport except 15 per cent fare hikes.

“Our strong plan is working with patronage ahead of its target. There were 176.7 million trips taken in 2013-14, more than 1 million additional trips than in the previous year.”

Mr Emerson said while more passengers were receiving free travel, the percentage of people reaching the benefit mid-week had only increased by 0.1 per cent, showing there was no evidence of rorting.

“Latest figures show 0.6 per cent of go cards reach a free trip on a Wednesday compared with 0.5 per cent before the policy was introduced negating claims there is wide-spread rorting of the policy,” he said.

The nine and free policy is budgeted to cost $38 million over four years.