House debates

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Grievance Debate

Ryan Electorate: Roads

6:04 pm

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

When I stood before the people of the Ryan electorate at the 2019 election, I promised them that I would help fix local roads and get them home to their families sooner and safer. I was very humbled that the good people of Ryan elected me to fight for them and our community. I work each and every day, as a member of the Morrison government, to deliver on these commitments. For far too long residents in our community, my community of Ryan, have sat in dangerous and congested traffic travelling to and from work, robbing them of precious time that they could otherwise be spending with their families. Indooroopilly roundabout is one such congestion point on Brisbane's busy Moggill Road. There has long been need of a modern upgrade to facilitate the growing amount of traffic that it absorbs.

As part of the 2019 election, I secured $50 million in federal funding in partnership with the Brisbane City Council to develop the roundabout. As soon as I was elected I got straight work, working with the Brisbane City Council and Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner, and public consultation on the options began. Following this community consultation process, locals in my electorate chose option B, which was to construct an overpass at the roundabout to defer traffic travelling on Coonan Street away from Moggill Road. Construction to upgrade the Indooroopilly roundabout is due to commence very, very shortly. I look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with Brisbane City Council to ensure the project continues on time and on budget. In fact, residents will have started to see surveyors and early works onsite already. This is a particularly significant and long-awaited upgrade for my local community.

In contrast, one of the other choke points on Moggill Road is the Kenmore roundabout. I have significant grievance, to use a phrase of this debate, around how this has failed to progress. Again, as part of the 2019 election, I fought hard for funds to fix this roundabout, which is a dangerous and very heavily congested bottleneck. I secured $12.5 million in federal funding as part of the upgrade and then it was matched by the state government. Since then, I, along with the state member for Moggill, Dr Christan Rowan, have constantly appealed to the state Labor government—given that they have the funding now in place, thanks to the federal government—to just get on with the project and get it underway. As opposed to the Brisbane City Council, which moved very quickly and swiftly into community consultation and now works, this, a smaller project relying on the Labor state government, has failed to progress as quickly as we wanted.

There have been press releases from the Labor state government. That's what they've managed to do: further announce their funding over and over again. Yet, any progress on the design, any progress on works, any progress on consultation has simply failed to materialise. There have been plenty of promises—promising mid last year, then the end of last year, then in a few weeks' time—and every time the Labor state government has failed to meet their own deadlines of releasing designs for community consultation. Both Dr Christian Rowan and I have written to the Queensland Minister for Transport and Main Roads repeatedly, again and again, to get this crucial project underway. We rarely get a response. When we are lucky enough to get a response from the Labor minister it's with a time line that he then misses. Despite a lack of commitment from the Labor government, Dr Christian Rowan and I are continuing to appeal for this upgrade to get underway. The funding will remain. The funding is committed there from the Morrison government. The community knows that the LNP federal government is there, ready and willing with the funds to get this work underway, if the Labor government and the Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, would simply get on and do it.

In addition to delivering on my election commitments with the Indooroopilly and Kenmore roundabouts, I've ensured the local roads in my electorate that've required overdue upgrades have been addressed. As part of the Morrison government's National Road Safety Strategy, the Black Spot Program has highlighted dangerous intersections in the electorate of Ryan. We've wasted no time in providing the financial backing to fix them. In late 2019 I stood onsite with the Deputy Prime Minister and the local councillor to announce nearly $1.5 million worth of federal funding to improve the Sir Fred Schonell Drive and Coldridge Street intersection in St Lucia. Unlike the Labor state government, again, we have wasted no time in getting this project underway, with preliminary works already commenced.

The Morrison government's Black Spot Program has also made significant improvements to some of the Ryan electorate's most popular local tourism destinations. The Enoggera Reservoir attracts countless local citizens and tourists for recreation and the Black Spot Program has committed just under $2 million to improve road safety at a number of sites throughout the Enoggera Reservoir.

Mount Coot-tha, located in the Ryan electorate, is another incredible natural attraction which also attracts tourists from all over the country and all over Brisbane to enjoy its beautiful views. The Black Spot Program has committed nearly $2 million to improve what was a dangerous roundabout which caused regular accidents there. Just last week I was on another site with Councillor Toomey from The Gap, where a local road project was underway—the Gresham Street bridge. Again, this is a long-awaited upgrade. The bridge was first established in the 1930s and the residents of St John's Wood and The Gap have waited a long time for it to be upgraded. Because of the Morrison government's commitment to local roads, and my commitment to local roads, we secured $700,000 to fix this bridge. We have the work underway and the new Gresham Street bridge, which is being built now, will increase vehicle weight limits, improve flood resistance and provide a wider footpath for pedestrian safety. That is so important, given that it's on a route to the local school for many local families. The project will also upgrade the traffic lights at the Gresham Street and Waterworks Road intersection to improve safety for all road users. In Ryan we're all about fixing local roads, creating jobs and getting our local economy firing. That's why I'm so proud to be part of this government, which is getting on with the job.

We also have community organisations that play a tremendous role in the Ryan electorate by serving us locally. It's a pleasure to support them as well. Among the most notable organisations are the men's sheds, which accommodate men of all ages and backgrounds. They help significantly with community mental health. The Ryan electorate is home to five men's sheds which stretch to all parts of the local area. Late last year, I was delighted to announce yet another successful 2019 election commitment to provide $50,000 to the Ashgrove-The Gap Men's Shed, enabling them to upgrade their shed and install CCTV. They have completed that project. I was also able to announce $1.5 million worth of community funding which will help to upgrade the community centre at Kenmore, including their shed as well. That is progressing.

I have delivered grants to some outstanding community groups. I won't name them all—I won't bore the chamber—but I will name a few. The Bardon Bowls Club has refurbished their club and upgraded their outdoor area. The Kenmore Cricket Club has installed new pitches, thanks to our support. The Ferny Districts Cricket Club is going to construct its new pitch. The Taringa Rovers will upgrade their equipment and Kenmore Little Athletics will get new shade awnings. The Bardon Girl Guides will upgrade their wooden floors. The Moggill Pony Club will get a new roof and the Ashgrove Meals On Wheels will upgrade its kitchen. Rotary Ashgrove will get a new storage shed and St John's Wood Scouts will replace the roof of their scout den, which was over 45 years old and in desperate need of repair. It's an absolute privilege to be in this place and part of the Morrison government, able to deliver for these fantastic community groups that are serving the families of the Ryan electorate.

We're also home, of course, to many proud veterans. They are proud of their service and we are very proud of them in turn. I have the privilege of meeting many of them in person. It is vital that we support our local Australian military veterans as they leave the forces and transition to work and life in our community. We're doing that through a lot of peer recognition and grants. The Gallipoli Barracks at Enoggera is placed at the heart of the Ryan electorate. We have a prominent veteran community that I engage with, particularly through the Morrison government's Saluting Their Service initiative and the Veteran and Community Grants Program. We have delivered funding opportunities to a number of local RSLs and veterans' groups within the electorate, including a $100,000 grant which I was very pleased to deliver as part of the last budget for a brand-new cadet unit at Brookfield, the first such cadet unit to be established in the Ryan electorate in a long, long time and the first one to service that very large and growing western corridor.

The cadet unit will enable young men and women from the electorate of Ryan to engage with Australian military veterans and to serve their local community and their country while gaining incredibly valuable skills. We've also got some fantastic heritage listed landmarks, such as the Witton Barracks. I fought to bring this into public ownership and into council ownership and to keep it there. It was built in 1889. It's a fantastic historic site, and I have just secured $850,000 for the Witton Barracks to upgrade the facility and restore it to its historic glory. Together we're delivering so much for the Ryan electorate and for the families of Ryan.