Thursday, 1 December 2016
Oxley Electorate: Ipswich Motorway
The Ipswich Motorway is a vital link supporting the Queensland economy. It forms part of the national land freight network providing connectivity for industry to the Acacia Ridge intermodal facility, the major industrial area of Wakool and the Brisbane markets at Rocklea—in the member for Morton's electorate—which are the state's largest fruit and vegetable markets and a major centre for produce on the east coast.
The section of the motorway is over capacity with 93,000 vehicles on average each day, including up to 12,000 freight vehicles. Numbers are increasing each year at an average of four per cent. Significant congestion on the Ipswich Motorway between Rocklea and Darra is severely impacting Queensland's productivity and economic activity, including freight movements.
This was a major election issue in the seats of Blair, Moreton and Oxley, and I was proud to campaign on this issue to see that local residents have improvements, particularly with public transport; I was proud to campaign for commuters, who are bearing the brunt of these delays. In the report released today from the RACQ—the latest Travel time report—I am sad to say that the Ipswich Motorway, particularly between Harcourt Road and Oxley Road, has figures dropping down to some of the slowest motorway freeway sections in Queensland. In fact, Infrastructure Australia has identified this section of the motorway as one of the most important projects to be fixed in this nation.
But we know that when it comes to infrastructure LNP governments, at state and federal levels, simply do not deliver. We saw that with the Ipswich Motorway; through the neglect over the Howard years where, for 13 long years, not one dollar was spent on the Ipswich Motorway. It took the election of a Labor government, working hand in glove with the then state Labor government, to spend billions of dollars to ease congestion on that motorway. And now I am calling on this government to make sure they honour their agreement and commitment of $200 million, matched by the state government of $200 million. I am pleased to see that work at the state level has begun, where we will see the motorway upgraded from four lanes to six lanes, seven new bridges and major culverts—including higher bridges at Oxley Creek to improve flood immunity—new southern service road connections from the Rocklea industrial precinct to the Oxley commercial retail areas, and new traffic signals.
This is a vital piece of infrastructure that needs to be upgraded, and I am pleased to report to the House that work has begun. But I will keep advocating to ensure that my local residents, as well as the residents in the electorates of Blair and Moreton, continue to have access to infrastructure to make sure that they can get around the communities a lot more easily than they can currently.