House debates

Thursday, 4 February 2021

Constituency Statements

Ryan Electorate: Roads

10:21 am

Photo of Julian SimmondsJulian Simmonds (Ryan, Liberal National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise today to talk about an issue that's causing much concern in my local community. The state government has proposed a new school at Indooroopilly, a primary school on the site of Indooroopilly State High School, likely a vertical school. Whilst I support the commitment to reduce overcrowded schools in our growing area, the lack of community consultation and the lack of planning have, understandably, created much concern amongst locals and for me. Traffic congestion is a serious issue in the western suburbs. That's why I have secured funding for much-needed road upgrades and will continue to fight for more. It is baffling that the Labor state government would propose a school without a plan for the increased traffic and congestion issues that it will bring to an area where there are already four schools operating in very close proximity. Residents are also justifiably concerned about the safety of our children, particularly around the already congested drop-off and pick-up zones and on the routes where kids walk to school, as more congestion, we know, leads to rat-running around suburban streets.

After speaking with local residents to share these serious concerns and others, I wrote to the education minister, Grace Grace, to request an urgent meeting with me and local constituents so that she could hear these concerns in person, as part of the consultation process she is meant to be undertaking. She declined. She refuses to meet with me, as a local representative, and she refuses to meet with local residents, despite undertaking a consultation process. It's a slap in the face to these local residents. It's a sign that she doesn't have the answers and it shows a total contempt by the Labor state government for our area, for local residents and for the legitimate concerns that they hold. It shows that the consultation process being undertaken by the Labor state government is a farce, from beginning to end.

Minister, you must be held accountable for the announcements you make. Why don't you come to the school drop-off and see for yourself? Do some due diligence with me and the parents. It's not good enough; building a new school can't be simply a tick-and-flick or a media release during the recent election campaign. To deliver such a vital piece of infrastructure requires well thought-out planning and conversations with the local community.

The state Labor government has ignored the western suburbs for decades. They don't acknowledge the growing traffic congestion. They have us sitting in traffic instead of at being home with our families. Nor do they invest in reducing the dangerous bottlenecks, which are a constant concern for locals to navigate. The federal government and I have committed literally hundreds of millions of dollars to fix traffic congestion in the western suburbs. But, where it requires support from the state Labor government, that funding is still sitting on the table because ministers like Grace Grace and Mark Bailey won't return phone calls or letters or engage with the local community. My local community knows it's not good enough.