Monday, 18 October 2010
Electorate of Blair: Infrastructure
I want to talk tonight about the bridges of Blair and three in particular. On 7 September I was pleased to be present at the opening of Pointings Bridge, which was constructed by the Somerset Regional Council using $1.9 million of federal government funds under the Roads to Recovery Program. The remainder came from the Somerset Regional Council. I commend the council for the work they have done.
The $37 billion we put into nation building funding is important in terms of my state of Queensland. An amount of $22 billion has been spent in rural and regional Australia on roads, rail and port. The residents of Blair will get a good outcome from this bridge, particularly the children at Patrick Estate Primary School and the residents in Lowood.
On 16 September I was also pleased to be present at the opening of the new bridge on Neurum Road over Neurum Creek in the northern part of my electorate. It is a 27-metre, two-lane bridge that replaces the old wooden bridge. The wood from the old bridge will be salvaged. It was an old single-lane bridge that kinked. It will be recycled for the maintenance of other timber crossings in the Somerset region. This again was done with federal government money. I was there with Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann as well as Moreton Bay Regional Council’s Division 12 councillor Adrian Raedel. The Neurum Bridge crosses the boundary, geographically, between the Somerset and Moreton Bay regions. It is a good example of a construction project—an economic stimulus for the region. It created jobs and it is good for farmers in the area and small business operators, as well as the Kilcoy Pastoral Company. It will make a big difference to the communities in the northern part of my electorate, east of Kilcoy particularly.
I was also present last Saturday for the opening of the Bradfield Bridge linking the south side of Ipswich with the north side, over the Bremer River. It is a footbridge. It was supposed to have been done some years ago. When Riverlink Shopping Centre was built in 2007, the footbridge was supposed to have been part of that construction. It was not built, and the stakeholders—Leader Holdings, QR and the Ipswich City Council—all engaged in a bit of blame shedding and sharing. The bridge is named after John Bradfield. He was an outstanding engineer who was involved in the construction and design of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney and the Story Bridge in Brisbane. Bradfield moved to Ipswich as a young child and attended North Ipswich State School, now known as Ipswich North State School, on the north side of the river. He attended Ipswich Grammar School on the south side of the river. I commend Ipswich City Council for their apt naming of the bridge. A special guest at the opening was Dr Bradfield’s great granddaughter, Anna Jackson, who ‘warmed everyone’s heart’, according to the Queensland Times editorial today, ‘with recollections of her illustrious ancestor’s abiding love for Ipswich’. She spoke particularly well.
I was pleased to be present when Ipswich mayor, Paul Pisasale, and Bob Ell of Leader Holdings were available to cut the ribbon. The bridge has been warmly received by the Ipswich community, and it means that the north side of Ipswich, where the Riverlink Shopping Centre is, will be formally linked as part of the CBD. Andy Broderson was there. He is an Ipswich 150 ambassador. He was there with his wife. Andy summed it up really well in today’s Queensland Times when he said that he thought the bridge was ‘absolutely wonderful’. Andy is a fantastic communitarian. He works hard and is a real patron and mentor at Collingwood Park State Primary School. He is a fantastic guy, 74 years young. He has lots of patience and an abundance of energy. He is the sort of person that every community wants. I think Andy summed it up brilliantly with his comment. Andy says, ‘It’s healthy to walk.’ He is absolutely correct. I walked across the bridge last Saturday to my mobile office in the markets in the CBD of Ipswich. There were literally thousands of people present on that day.
It is a great step forward for Ipswich. It will revitalise the CBD. Riverlink, together with the revitalised Ipswich, will make sure that money—hundreds of millions of dollars of retail money—will stay in the Ipswich community instead of being lost to Brisbane. It should always be back in Ipswich.